Friday, May 6, 2011

May 06, 2011: Grenoble - Préfecture, Post, Photocopies, Planning, Ontario

The day started off with a visit to the Préfecture. I had some questions about getting added in to Mark's carte de séjour application (if only our marriage certificate from Hawaii had arrived before we left Canada we wouldn't have had this conundrum). I prepared a detailed explanation of what I wanted to find out, translated it with Google Translate, checked it over and revised where needed. I also took my friend Anne along, so that I'd have a truly bilingual French person who could help bridge the gap if needed. Anyhow, all my preparation was overkill, since I got a very helpful person at the Préfecture - I was only half ways through my explanation when she interrupted in English to tell me that she had exactly the form I needed. All I needed was a few photocopies and to return with Mark on Monday to sign the form. What a relief!

So after that it was a trip to the Post Office, to figure out how to work the photocopier (not bad - it took change, although not the smallest Euro coins). Then a bit more trip planning (both for my mother's trip to France, and for a trip to Germany with Mark).

And finally dinner. We went to Ontario! Or at least a restaurant called Ontario. Which actually seems to be more about Quebec (it has all Quebec beers on tap) but when I asked the owner why it is called Ontario he didn't seem to distinguish it much from Quebec (or from North America in general). But he was very excited to have genuine Ontarians in his establishment (telling other French patrons about us), and offered us a free drink of his own mountain herb liqueur at the end - fierce stuff but good. I also had the house aperitif - a kir made with maple syrup.

Before dinner we walked through the historic centre of Grenoble and came across something we hadn't seen before - a window cut into a wall that showed the original almost 2000-year-old Roman wall that it was built upon

We also found this declaration of human rights plaque, which is set into the ground and cleverly inscribed so that you can read it from above or below, depending on which side of the gateway you pass through

Welcome to Ontario - a rustic log cabin in the heart of Grenoble

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