Wednesday, March 23, 2011

March 23, 2011: Grenoble - Sunshine, Drawing, Chicken Soup, Téléphoner, Métrovélo

Today was the warmest day here yet - a high of 19 Celsius, and fantastically sunny.

Since the weather was so nice I wanted to walk up to the Bastille, but the road was closed part ways up (I could hear them chipping away at something - probably more wall maintenance). So instead I went up one of the side sets of stairs a bit of the way and sat with my sketchbook, drawing cedar trees and stone walls. Not as much exercise as I'd hoped, but just as much sun.

When I got home I made chicken stock from Saturday's roast chicken carcass. I added a good dash of the herbes de provence spice mix, and even before it started to boil it smelled amazing.

Today I made my first local phone call, to the bank, having planned out in advance the likely phrases I would need to say in French. That all went right out the window as soon as someone answered - eventually she switched over to English and I found out that I had gotten through to some kind of technical assistance line, rather than the main line.

In the evening I met Mark at the train station to rent him a bicycle for the next 3 months from Métrovélo. It's only 50 euros to rent, but we had to pay 90 euros as a deposit. I realized I had no idea how to ask "can I pay in cash?" when we found that we couldn't pay the deposit with our credit card. But we got the bike in the end, and Mark rode it home. He says it's a bit of a tank, and doesn't like it too well, but it will make his commute much faster.

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