Saturday, March 26, 2011

March 26, 2011: Grenoble - Market, Hiking, Tower Without Venom, Terrine

Today at the market we bought yet another new cheese (I think our goal may be to buy a new kind every time we visit) - Savoie Crayeuse. It's stronger-tasting than most cheeses we've bought so far; quite goaty (even though I believe it's a cow's milk cheese), with a luxuriant texture like Brie and a hint of strong taste like a blue, even though it has no blue colouring. In reading up on it after I've found that Crayeuse was just invented recently, by Max Schmidhauser in 1997, which surprised me, since many of the other cheeses at the market are varieties that have been made for hundreds of years locally - you'd think they'd have already come up with all the possibilities.

For lunch we feasted on our market purchases: slices of herb-encrusted sausage and cheese on fresh baguette; also fresh pasta (filled with artichoke and ricotta) with tomato sauce and arugula. We haven't bought any actual artichokes yet, but they're very popular here, with maybe half a dozen different varieties available at market.

We used the Guide de Balades to pick a hiking route that we could reach via the TAG transit system. We took a new tram line and a bus for the first time, up to the village of Seysseney Periset in the hills; then hiked from there about 1.5 hours up higher to the Tour Sans Venin (in English: Tower Without Venom). It's a 13th century tower, 666 feet above sea level. The origin of the name is disputed (but doesn't the elevation of 666 feet seem significant?) and it is one of the seven wonders of the Dauphiné region.

After a leisurely walk down we had the same bus driver as before; both times there was no one on the bus but us - did he drive all afternoon with no other passengers?

For supper: rice casserole with mushrooms, onions, chicken stock, cheese rind, tomato paste and rabbit terrine; roast brussels sprouts and parsnips. The rabbit terrine was quite pungent - I'm glad I only used half a jar. I'd scooped out several spoonsful and placed them throughout the casserole - they cooked up almost like little meatballs.

St Nizier - Mark Nitz. Coincidence?

We passed a house en route that has a tower. Just imagine "Oh honey - would you get the spare blanket - it's up in the tower"...

Sunlight streams across green forest floors - it really felt like spring today!

We sighted a large overhang down below in the distance - I'm thinking Clan of the Cave Bear!

The famous Tour Sans Venin (this is the intact corner - from the other direction it's mostly gone)

A small cemetery beside the tower overlooks the city with an amazing view to the Belledonne mountains - not a bad resting place for eternity

Mark 'pretends' to lock me in the cemetery

I love the simplicity of the big curving wall in this old stone church

I was almost able to 'touch' this lizard with my shadow finger before it moved

A small stream was channeled into a stone-lined chute in which the water rushed by with great force - lots of fun to trace it back into the forest to the point where it was naturalized

Rabbit terrine - just another everyday product from the supermarket shelf...

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