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In search of a giant polo

Buzzing around Grenoble

By James Dacey

I’ve come to France this week to acquaint myself with one of the world’s “big 3” synchrotrons — the European Synchrotron Research Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble.

The serious science starts today but j’adore my European getaways so I arrived a day early for a bit of exploring.

Doing the classic tourist thing I headed to the highest point, in this case — via a cable car — to La Bastille, a series of fortifications dating back to the middle ages.

There were some fantastic views of the city sprawling out along the flood plain of the Isere.

Unfortunately, Mont Blanc to the east was covered in cloud, but I got some great shots looking down at the ESRF – aka “the giant polo” (below).

One other wonderfully French feature was “apiview” – a viewing slot fronted by a tank of bees (above).

The idea is to gain an original view of Grenoble and its surroundings by looking out “as if one were a bee” – it is part of a local project to combine art with science.

Right, I’m of now to interview Harold Reichert, the director of research here at the facility.

The giant polo

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