I am sitting here hopeful that I’ll be able to upload some photos tonight since I took them all with my iPad. (Yes, I’m that person now)
Today was fun! The other girls left early to catch a bus to where the wedding was taking place this afternoon and I stayed behind to pick up the rental car at noon that I then drove to the wedding venue/hotel we are staying at tonight, and that will take us to Marseille early tomorrow morning.
Things could’ve gone much much smoother this morning…namely a street fair made navigating a new city in an unfamiliar car very tricky. At least this car seems (fingers crossed) better then our beloved Croatian Fabia… But once I got the car parked things were okay.
The funnest of things being a gondola ride up Bastille!
I actually would’ve preferred to hike the whole way – but you have to put coins in the parking meter every 2 hours, and I wasn’t sure how long the hike would take. So I prioritized getting to the summit, then being able to hike around there.
There was an anxiety inducing art exhibit at the summit as well called:
Didn’t realize why it was so panic inducing until I got close to the end either…
Let me set the scene. You walk in to a small-ish castle tower. Except the tower is built into the mountain so you’re actually walking in at the top of the tower and decending into the exhibit. Here is where you enter:
As soon as you step inside the temperature drops 15 degrees and the air is thick with moisture. The walls and ceiling were actually dripping at some points.
Once you descend the first stair case you’re facing a wall of eerie photographs, a pedestal with a vase full of dried flowers, and a pedestal with a mummified tarantula.
Then a down another staircase into a dark dark room with just this:
Once you’ve processed that – you realize the heartbeat you’re hearing isn’t actually your own as you’d assumed. No. There is one more staircase to descend. You do it (against better judgement), all the while the temperature is still dropping, and the heartbeat is getting louder and faster and beating in time with a single small red bulb.
Then you run back up the stairs, and even once you hit the warmth and sunlight, you can still hear (or feel?) the heartbeat so you just feel like sitting down and crying.
Yup. Strangely the exhibit has probably one of my favourite things I’ve done so far.
The rest of the time at the summit I spent hiking down a little trail towards the memorial for the fallen mountain soldiers. It was just me and it was very pretty.
The whole mountain and the Bastille fortress was heavily used in many wars since its creation in 1592 (and the natural elements of the mountain provided protection and a defensive advantage for armies well before an official fortress was designed). You can kind of see at the end of the path in the photo above a dark hole – apparently the mountain is riddled with tunnels allowing sentries to get back to the fortress quickly and safely from their stations throughout the forest. I did go into the tunnel, and stayed on the marked path the entire time, but after ten minutes walking in the dark all alone I turned around and quickly made my way out. Not for me.
Next time, Grenoble. Next time.