I was one of the lucky students of Fergusson College, Pune who got a chance to study and live in the capital of the French Alps – Grenoble. It’s a city with a happy mixture of different culture, students, and businesses unsullied by wilderness of the surrounding mountains. This capital city of the French Alps is the only city of its kind in Europe. It is the only urban centre with powerful industrial resources, to be surrounded by a ring of mountains, of which the peaks rise nearly 4,000 metres above sea level.
As a student of ESC-Grenoble l’Ecole Supérieure de Commerce doing my Masters in International Business, I got an opportunity to learn and interact with different people from all over the world. Grenoble being a mélange of cultures from the east to the west and north to the south, with a count of more than 50,000 students, helps open up your outlook and prospects.
During my days in school, whenever we got a chance, we explored the city and its vicinity. Our favorite pastime was going climbing, hiking, collecting and eating walnuts and apples, tasting different cheeses and wines and so on. What I cherish the most among all the others is skiing during winters. Being an Indian and not have skied before, it was a challenge but with the help of my teammates, not only did I start skiing but even started enjoying the sport thoroughly. One of the many ski resorts that I got rather fond of was Les Deux Alpes, Chamrousse, Chatrreuse etc. This superb ring of alternately green and snow-covered mountains justifies the city’s Alpine identity and explains why it is known as the French capital of the Alps.
Another very distinctive feature of this city was its Farmer’s Market which comes once on Sunday on Cours Jean Jaurès which forms the longest thoroughfare in Europe, stretching 15 kilometers towards the south. It was wonderful to be living on such a street which was always bustling with families buying baguette or fresh cheeses and a brilliant mouth- watering range of local specialties.
Last but not the least of my memoirs of the picturesque city is the view oldest Saint Laurent bridge in the entire Isère with its breath-taking view of the limestone peaks of mountains of Trois Pucelles and Vercore Massif embellished by the four bubble cable cars connecting the city to its little fort of La Bastille.
To conclude in a small note this city has abundance of colour and tradition and people are always keen to perpetuate both. I have actually just mentioned a few of its assets and since it’s a short article, I am bound to overlook a great deal. Indeed it is unusual for such diversity to coincide with such quality and that’s what Grenoble is.