On top of the world in Grenoble

Back in January, 3 of the other assistants in Oyonnax and I decided to spend a weekend in Grenoble! High on my list of places to visit in the Rhone-Alpes region during my TAPIF year, Grenoble is located at the foot of the French Alps and boasts stunning scenery of the mountains.

We stayed just one night- trained it out from Oyonnax early Saturday morning and returned Sunday evening. We were incredibly lucky weather-wise during our impromptu weekend- especially considering the main tourist attraction of Grenoble is the Bastille mountain fortifications with amazing hiking trails and views of the Alps. The Bastille is also home to the famous Grenoble cable cars- which were out of commission the weekend we were there. That was okay, as we planned on hiking regardless!

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the cable cars

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Hiking in Nantua

Several weeks ago, I had a chance to check my first thing off my TAPIF Bucket List- to go hiking in the Jura Mountains! I had wanted to go ever since I arrived in Oyonnax and saw the beautiful views, and the experience was amazing.

The 4 other language assistants and I participated in an organized hike in the nearby town of Nantua. We were luckily able to get rides to and from with some high school teachers attending the hike! There were several options of hikes to choose from, and we picked the 15 km hike in the Jura, stopping at Lac Génin. For an 8 euro entrance fee, we were given sandwiches for the trail, breakfast to start and along the route there were tables set up with water and snacks such as baguette and cheese and some fruit. The hike itself was exhausting but not overly strenuous- I was happy to fall asleep that night! We had amazing views of Nantua Lake, along with another lake in the Jura Mountains, Lac Génin. We started in the village of Charix, close by Nantua, and did a circle loop around the mountains and lakes.

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Our initial view of the mountains from Nantua

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A trip to Howth

After spending the morning checking out Trinity College Dublin, Ola and I headed into the city centre to hop onto the DART: Dublin Area Rapid Transit train to take us to the fishing village of Howth. A forty-five minute train ride, the DART took us out of the city proper and to the very edge of the peninsula of Howth Head jutting out into Dublin Bay.

Location of Howth in relation to Dublin

Location of Howth in relation to Dublin

 Right around the corner from the train station and tourist center was the harbor, full of colorful fishing boats and with a clear view to Ireland’s Eye, a deserted island a mile from the coast. Continue reading