Voiron

(April 7-9, 2017) This was another extended weekend trip to the neighboring town, only 25 kilometers North-west of Grenoble. The reason for the trip was Lisa Simone’s (Nina Simone’s daughter) concert that was part of the Voiron Jazz Festival, but we also did some nice trail running and hiking. Unlike in other recent weekend getaways, this time we had favorable weather throughout the weekend.

We spent a good part of Friday walking up and down the streets of Voiron. This alley was particularly attractive since the church façade (Cathedral of Saint-Bruno) looked amazingly like a painting.

We knew that Voiron is known for Rossignol, the ski manufacturer, but for chocolate making? There were chocolate shops in every corner and all of them had their windows abundantly decorated in Easter theme with huge chocolate bunnies and … er, this one (Salon de Thé Bonnat) with a gigantic fish. Actually, as it turned out after a little web search, Chocolatier Bonnat is rather famous and unique Voironese chocolate manufacturer founded in 1884.

Lisa Simone at Le Grand Angle.

Next morning we were up early heading out for a trail run.

Combined with a hill run, with Notre-Dame-de-Vouise (735m) as our destination. It meant 526 meters of climbing from the town. We also took the ‘direct’ route which was quite challenging because of the terrain and the grade.

The view towards Grenoble from midway up the hill. Chartreuse on the left and Vercors on the right.

The seven-meter statue is on the top of a 15-meter tower with an observation deck, to where one can take stairs,

and admire the view to the town of Voiron.

When back in town, and after enjoying the breakfast at our hotel, we visited the market, did some more touring in the town, and had lunch at a Chinese.

In the afternoon we visited Voiron’s main tourist attraction, the cellars of the Chartreuse liquor distillery. The guided tour was free and included a tasting of their liquors (one shot of choice per person).

The cellar was quite impressive because of its sheer size, and the number of massive wooden barrels. Unfortunately, taking photographs was not allowed.

For the dinner we chose a place called “La Salle à Manger” (in English “Dining room”), a small family run place that tried to be fine dining, but was not quite there. For mains we had fish …

… and beef with foie gras.

Everything worked fine until the dessert, all the servers were busy with other customers, so it was eventually the chef himself that served us the coffees.

On Sunday we decided to do a long and easy hike around Voiron.

We started the same route as the morning before to Notre-Dame-de-Vouise, but instead of climbing up, we continued along the gradient to Tolvon.

This is how the strangely barking dog we heard from kilometers away looked like.

Chartreuse range viewed from (almost) St. Nicholas de Macheran.

Château d’Hautefort, and the laundry of the lord of the house.

Notre-Dame-de-Vouise viewed from the West.

Another picture of Cathedral of Saint-Bruno when we were back in the town after the 18.7-kilometer hike with 740 meters of ascent/descent.

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