Saturday, April 30, 2011

April 30, 2011: Grenoble - Happy Birthday Sara, Market, Taxes, Haircut, Hike, Pizza

Happy Birthday to Mark's sister, Sara! Sending birthday greetings from France is a bit odd, since we've got a 9-hour time difference - if you start too early it's still the wrong day in Victoria, BC!

We seemed to fit a lot in today: market first thing, then Mark finished and paid his taxes online. Then for the main event: a haircut. Mark has needed one for a few weeks now, so we finally bit the bullet and went. I'd been told by my language exchange French friends that Grenoble has one of the highest proportions of hairdressers in all of France, and once we started paying attention it seemed to be true. So - no shortage of places to go, we just had to pick one that was open, not too busy, and seemed to do a good job. We ended up at a Franco-Italian place near our apartment, where they were able to take Mark right away. No English spoken, but we managed to get through it just fine (although I did get rather distracted by my success in having a French conversation with another of the salon's patrons, rather than paying attention to Mark's efforts to get me to translate his hair instructions).

And we still had time after this to head out on an outdoor adventure! We took the bus to the south of the city, to Eybens, and headed from there up into the wooded hills. It was a beautiful day of sunshine and we walked around for a couple of happy hours.

Then back into the city and out for pizza. I've been wanting to go out for pizza for a while, since Grenoble has a large Italian population and there are tons of pizzerias. We went to La Chandelle, which had good recommendations and pizza combinations we wouldn't commonly see in Canada (mine had arugula, ham, cheese, tomato - not so unusual, but also had artichoke - unusual). We had a bottle of Lambrusco with it, a popular pizza accompaniment of sparkling sweet red wine. Very tasty!

A château in the distance, with dramatic clouds

Hillside with sunny sky and clouds

Hikers heading out across a field

A beetle making his way along the path

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