Friday, June 3, 2011

To Grenoble and the visit to LaSalette.

It appears that once I log on to this internet server, I have a total of 30 minutes before it shuts off. 30 minutes is not a lot of time to do a blog. So there will be a series of short blogs again. Be sure to look back.

The drive from Torino to Grenoble took me through some more rugged mountain terrain and very narrow and curving roads.

Here is what they look like.
Highway E-74 between Torino and Grenoble.

Highway E 74

HIghway E 74

The fortress of Exilles. This fortress stands on a ridge in the middle of a valley formed by near shear cliffs on both sides. It has been considered a strategic location since the 9th century when the first forstress was built here. It has been expanded many times over the years and was in constant use until after WW II. It was abandoned in the late 1940 after WW II. In 1990's the Italian government began a restauration and turned it into a national monument open to the public. Here are a views inside and out.
The central courtyard and parade grounds.
The approached is a maze of ramps and gates separated by moats. Sucessive kings and nations who have controlled this site continued to add defenses to make it harder to lay siege.
Continuing along the route, the highway hugs the side of the cliffs and passes through tunnels like the one in the picture.
Grenoble is located on a large plain formd by the Isere river. The "old city" is tiny for a city of this size. The rest of the city is unremarkable in everyway. Blocks of early 20th century buildings, and beyond, blocks of 1960's and 1970's apartment buildings. I was glad to use this place only as the base for visiting the mountain and village of LaSalette and the LaSalette Shrine.

Here is the approach to the village of LaSalette, about 40 mile south of Grenoble.
The Basilica built in the 1860's to commemorate the visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to two shepherd children on this mountain.
The interior of the Basilica
The romanesque interior of the basilica.
This is the view of the Mountian of the aparation of LaSalette that I have been seeing as a poster in the lobby of the retreat center of LaSalette Shrine in Attleboro, MA. When I first was this picture, I said, "I will go there someday" TODAY WAS THE DAY.
From this rock outcropping and the trail approaching it - YES, that clump of rock hanging off the side of the slope is the trail, and YES, I hiked it - I spent about an hour in prayer and reflection. Here are the pictures rom this spot.
The view of the basilica from my rock perch, 2 Km by winding trail.
And to prove I really was there:

Two young German hikers were glad to take this photo for me.
In front of the Basilica.
I am going to post this now. But check out the posting of the close-ups of the mountain flowers that were just starting to bloom in the alpine spring. You saw the snow still on some places of the very high country.

To be continued.