With the mountains all around, Grenoble is known as "Capital of the Alps". Its history goes back 2000 years to when it was a small Gallic village. Later, in the 11th century, Grenoble became significant as capital of the Dauphiné, though for the most part it remained a minor outpost on the edge of the French kingdom. Though in WWII, the German invasion was decisively stopped in the south at the Battle of The Alps early in the war, it was eventually occupied by the Italian army.
Trips outside of Lyon in the Rhone-Alpes and surrounding areas.
Day trips out to new places are always multi-faceted adventures. Not only are we going to a place we have never been before, but simply the act of getting there is often an experience in itself. Such was our visit to Annecy. We had heard that there was some damage to the railroad tracks near there due to recent heavy rains, and rail passengers were being rerouted via bus. At the station in Lyon, we were ready to exchange our tickets and pick another destination, but …
Yes, the Dijon of mustard fame. We had spent the night in Beaune, and our plan was to take the train the short distance further for a brief visit to the capital of the Côte-d’Or département and of the Burgundy region. It was a beautiful spring day with vineyards all along the route through one of the most famous wine producing regions in the world. From the early 11th until the late 15th centuries, Dijon was the seat of extreme wealth and power, earning respect as one of Europe’s great centers of art and science.
Beaune is the center of the Burgundy wine region and the primary wine auction in France is held there. It is all about the wine, it is a town dedicated first to the wine industry (i.e. tractors, harvesting equipment, vats etc.), and tourism is secondary. Even so, there are many things to see and do.
The Medieval village of Perouges had been on our list of must-see places near Lyon for a while. And as we began to do some more research, this weekend (19 April) popped up on the community calendar as the weekend of the Parade Vénitienne de Pérouges or Venetian Parade of Perugia.
We were in need of a day-trip. So we closed our eyes and stuck a pin in the map. Well not really. Our excursions are pretty much dictated by the train routes that are available, and we generally look for locations that are no more than 2-hours away. Of course, there truly are lots of options in any direction, which is an additional reason we chose to be in Lyon for a longer stay. This particular day we chose to go to Vienne, located on the Rhône River in southeastern France.