Grenoble, France

I’m catching up on posts I’ve been neglecting, including several about my trip to France in May.

First stop: Grenoble.


I flew into Lyon, France’s second-largest city, and took a bus to Grenoble with a few other scientists. We were there for a workshop on the intersection of model and data work related to Pleistocene glaciology.

The workshop was held at the Glaciology and Environmental Geophysics Lab at the university in Grenoble. The meeting itself looked a lot like this:


It was a bit dark and the jetlag was beastly, but there were a lot of very interesting people there presenting work relevant to my own.

In addition to the meeting being a good one, I also had the opportunity to meet with a distant cousin, Jim Crowley, and his wife. We had dinner at a pizzeria, where I had a leg of lamb (naturally).


We spent the other evenings walking around town, enjoying good food and drink. Below is the Place du Verdun, one of the largest squares in Grenoble from what I could tell. There was a gorgeous view of the Alps over the old architecture.


The meeting lasted two full days. Many people there — like me — were continuing on to a conference the next week in Chamonix. In order to kill some time over the weekend, we went on an excursion to the Plateau Guillets above Grenoble. The plateau contained geologic remnants from the glaciers that filled the area during the Last Glacial Maximum.

Now it mostly looks like a meadow.


After talking about some of the geology on the plateau and stopping for a picnic lunch, we hiked up to the top of a nearby mountain to take in the view.


The trail we were on was popular with mountain bikers and some (very fit) runners.

It also included a reminder to not disturb the flocks and sheep dogs, none of which we saw.


At the top, the group stopped for a relaxed picnic with odds and ends saved from previous workshop lunches and picked up at the grocer that morning. There were panoramic views of Grenoble below as well as the glider planes and hang gliders launching from the mountain tops.


There was obvious evidence of the presence of glaciers in the wide, U-shaped valleys which are now home to Grenoble and surrounding communities. Yet another reminder of the enormous scale of Earth’s processes.

3 thoughts on “Grenoble, France

  1. I’ve been eager to hear about your trip to France, so thanks. Sounds like a good conference. And the scenery is absolutely spectacular.


  2. Beautiful pictures, Gail! Connecting the views to what you are studying makes me more aware of the source or history of all the mountains, valleys, etc.
    Ed and I are planning to go to Paris, either this September before he golfs in Scotland, or next spring if we can’t fit it in this year. I’m hoping next spring, when maybe we could see more of France than just Paris.


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