Sunday, March 02, 2008

Arrival in La Grave

The first leg of my green ski trip to La Grave passed reasonably well. The train to Geneva was Swiss in it's efficiency and comfort. Going from Geneva to Grenoble took rather a long time as the local train stopped, started, changed drivers, changed direction, and generally messed around.

Whereas Zurich -> Geneva takes about 2:45 (about the same as driving, and a distance of about 27o km), Geneva -> Grenoble takes 2:15 for 140 km, a driving time of about 1:30.

Waiting for something to happen, at a railway station somewhere in France

The other Ian picked me up in his rental car (this might seem like cheating, but as he's renting the car anyway to get to Grenoble airport at an odd time, it's fair game), and the drive was uneventful apart from the usual potholes and debris on the Rue Departmental 1091.

Part of the key to getting out of here on Thursday seems to be Jarrie-Vizille, at the bottom of the valley - there's a train to Grenoble at 15:26 on Thursday, so if I can get that far, I'm sorted.

Keep watching...

Saturday, March 01, 2008

A green trip to La Grave?

I'm going to La Grave on Sunday (from Zurich) and I'm going to try and do it largely by public transport (or at least shared transport). We're seriously spoiled in here is Switzerland, with an extensive train network, and the 'PostBus' that runs several times a day to almost every village and trail-head in the country.

As PisteHors pointed out last year, France doesn't fare so well, and that includes La Grave: There are two buses a day (Grenoble <-> Briancon), run by VDF and three on Saturday, but they aren't co-ordinated to fit with the (my?) trains times at Grenoble. I've gone before without a car, using a combination of buses and hitch-hiking, which worked OK (but I have missed a flight once). When we lived in Italy, it goes without saying that the car was the only way to get there.

So here's the plan: I arrive in Grenoble, where a friend will also be arriving by train, and we're renting a car. He's taking it back to Grenoble airport on Tuesday night, so still don't know what I'm doing to come back on Thursday. The bus arrives an hour to late for the last train back to Zurich, so I'll either be taxi-ing, hitching, or getting a car share - I've optimisticly posted on the La Grave 'Co Voiturage' buletin board.

Watch this space to find out how I did...