The last month has literally been quite awesome, in the real sense of the word. Here's a recap:
I have been hiking every Friday with the University forme qualificante option, les randonnées. Before hand I went on another hike up to col vert from Villard-de-Lans with some friends.
After a steep ascent, we were greeted by a view of Mont Blanc on the horizon, and the clouds below us. Good place for a picnic.
The hike up to Lake Achard was quite easy, through woodland and marshes. The weather was reminiscent of an Indian Summer, the sunlight warm but lower in the sky and slightly more piercing. Wild blueberries and raspberries were in full bloom alongside the footpath.
The next hike was still in the Belledonne region, but took us to a more rugged, wild lake, lacs Robert. The view up was misty, providing a mystical view across the mountains which seems straight out of Lord of the Rings. The lake itself appeared as the idyllic green mountainsides made way for crooked rocky terrain.
Next was La Pinéa in Chartreuse, which we walked to on Friday. The colours in the alps are now incredible, the deciduous trees show themselves amongst the conifers thanks to their vibrant yellow, orange and brown. This was quite a traditional Alpine landscape, with green clearing making way for forested valleys, and that distant "chocolate box" landscape, the snow capped mountains looming on the horizon.
I have not just been escaping the city. Take a look at this view I get every day on my way to University, and check out the campus.
This is outside a lecture theatre at the University of Stendhal. This couple were making out for at least 26 minutes (I counted from when I arrived on this spot). Apparently such public displays of affection are quite standard sightings in France.
I finally made it up to la bastille in late September with a bunch of friends, just in time to witness the sunset over Grenoble.
I have tried plenty of local delicacies, for example, authentic sushi at Ozenya...
But my busy traveller-feet were unable to keep still for so long. In early October I visited Annecy and Chambery with a French guy, an Italian girl, and a girl from Singapore. There was an antique market with plenty of creepy old dolls. The town itself was very pretty, and is often considered France's own little version of Venice.
Travelling is not complete if it does not come complete with an adrenaline rush. Here I attempt le parapente (paragliding) with a friend and two new acquaintances. At 8.45, it was a good wake-up call, and the flight had a dream-like quality. We ran off a mountain edge, passed waterfalls, came close to tree tops, and defied gravity.
So that's a very brief overview of Late September up until the present (21/10/2013) in pictures. I have still have over half of my time left here, so hope to use it well.