Sunday, March 13, 2011

March 13, 2011: Grenoble - Market, Lunch, Natural History Museum, Sick?!

Back to the market this morning, to buy food for tonight's dinner. We stopped by a new cheese stall, where the proprietor was eager to give out samples of cheese and charcuterie, and happily made conversation with us in English. We bought a 2-year-old comté and a blue cheese from him. We'll definitely have to go back there! We also bought a jar of chestnut honey from a honey stand (where they had large vats of various kinds of honey from which they were filling jars). We tried it out when we got home; it's a fascinating taste, not so sweet and almost licorice-like - maybe like the blue cheese of honeys. We ordered salmon from the fish stall (where there were many mystifying fish species unfamiliar to us) and some eggs from a different stall (we're going through them fast as we work on our brownie experiments).

For lunch we had savoury french toast, with the remains of our bread from earlier in the week: salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, with some grated abondance cheese and slivers of prosciutto on top, along with a salad of mache greens and radishes.

Because rain was predicted we decided to do something indoors for the afternoon. I selected the Natural History Museum since I'd read that it had some aquariums - however, we didn't find any when we got there (maybe they were removed in a renovation at some point?). They did have displays on the geology and animals of the Alps, which was fairly interesting to learn about, although all the stuffed birds started to look alike after a while. I did enjoy finding some unique typos and word inventions in the English signage. And I enjoyed collection of mineral specimens with the history of all the local mines that they came from, since it was so specific to the area (turns out gold mining was a total bust, but other mines did well - I think there are some old mines open to tours).

For dinner we had baked salmon with the leftover rice casserole from the day before. After dinner I started feeling odd and not long after going to bed I was up again sick. I'm not sure what it was - maybe food poisoning, but it came on hard and fast, and I didn't get much rest that night. I'd like to blame it on a bad mussel from the day before, rather than intolerance to an indulgent diet of French cheese and wine...

A fossil with amazingly detailed texture

The view down to the first level, with the stuffed animals specimens and dioramas 

This squirrel looks positively manic. What is with the ear tufts?! He's got to be a hair model from the movie "Blow Dry".

Yet another wild beast at the museum

I love the reliquary nature of this specimen - the skull of the last living brown bear in the Alps, killed nearby in 1921, and carefully inscribed with all the details

Best typo - I believe they were trying to come up with"alluvial", and this uses bits from all the right root words to get close to what they meant

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