Mon Cher Grenoble (France Part-1)

Grenoble Travel Blog

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Grenoble-Bar Le tire bouchon with friends, France

Amelie, Delicatessen, Monsieur Ibrahim, and the recent film La Mome (La Vie En Rose) are all French movies.  I love this movies for their language, music and the drama, of all the other reasons, I love watching the country. I did not fall in love with Paris the first time I was there in early 90’s but I come back to France again after so many years. This time it really changes my mind about this beautiful land of wine, cheese, croissant and Edith Piaf. My first stop of my trip to France this time is one of my favorite little cities in the world called Grenoble. I arrived from Frankfurt to Lyon Airport on 19 May 2007.

Grenoble-Statue of French revolution, France
My good friend from Grenoble waited for me at the arrival hall. We had a coffee, a little chat and then we proceed to get a bus ticket for our journey to Grenoble. I was feeling rather tired because the day before I had a seminar in Frankfurt , sleep late, had a lot to drink with colleagues and have to wake up about 6am to catch the early flight. Above all that, I am glad that all is fine when I sat on the bus to Grenoble, the journey took about one hour. I am taking a break and want to enjoy my holiday with my friend as we had plan.

 

Grenoble is a student city; they have about 5 to 6 Universities there.

Grenoble-Me and friend at the garden in Latailla, France
Therefore, you can see many young faces and they can be foreign to Grenoble. This place is better known where it started of French revolution from the small city about 20km called Vizille. There are a few famous people come from here, the French writer Stendhal, The man that discover/translate Egyptian writing, Champollion and my favorite French Pop artist Calogero. Perhaps this universities student came from all over France or the world. I can hear people speaking English on the street. My friend lived in boulevard Gambetta not very far from the train station it is consider very central. The weather when I was there can be unpredictable, it can be warm one day and I need a sweater another day. Each time before I leave the house, I always check the temperature and standby a sweater tie to my hip.
Grenoble-Desserts after lunch at the garden in Latailla, France
I love the vibe of small cities; they are very personal, reachable and friendly. I have been to Nancy and Metz at the north of France but this is different because I have someone to take care of me. He takes his vacation too and shows me around. I had a lot of fun and laugh; let me tell you about this place, my way. ;-p

 

The day I arrived, we went to a ‘cult’ lunch, because this bunch of good friends, yuppies, they like to meet up once a week at this restaurant called Quai d’Orsay at rue Condorcet. The owner of this place called Madame Mari-Jo; she is a very sweet woman.

Grenoble-Lunch steak and rice at Le Tonneau de Diogene restaurant, France
I can feel an instant acceptance of my friend, friends, we had a good laugh and that is a good start. The next day we went to a gathering of planting.  Maybe for some people in Europe this is common but for me, I find it very interesting. There a rich farmer that rent his unused land at Latailla about 400 square meters each portion to the native Grenoble to use it as their temporary garden. It is a great idea for someone that loves to plant but living in a concrete city, I really like this idea. It can be relaxing and give a reason for friends and family to get together during weekend. On the way to Latailla, we pass by the City Hall and they build a new stadium that leading to the expressway. I had a great time there but one big problem at this garden, NO toilet! ;-p

 

There is a nice place where you can enjoy nice meal and a good outdoor atmosphere called place Grenette, plenty of restaurants there.

Grenoble-Le Tonneau de Diogene restaurant, France
You can find FNAC there too, a place where I can get my DVD/CD for foreign movies and French film. My friend also found out for me another store that sells second hand DVD/CD at rue De La Poste, a walking distant, he is so concern about my DVD and me ;-).  There is also another FNAC but you have to take the tramline A to Grand place, the south suburb part of Grenoble, they have a big shopping centre there. Let me tell you a little about this area near place Grenette. They have a Square called place Victor Hugo and you can find a strong standing statue of Berlioz the famous french composer. At this Square you can also find a small bazaar selling things like scarf, sunglasses, wallet etc. You will find a big perfume store at one of the corner; check out for discount item, it is worth it. There are a lot of shopping area and shops at the old part of town the pedestrian area between place Notre Dame and place Saint Andre. We are sometime at a very nice restaurant called Le Tonneau de Diogene near place Notre Dame and not far from there are museums. I have been to two, one is just opposite of the restaurant called L'echeveche, and it is free. The time I was there, they showed an exhibition of Henriette Groll, a painter from Grenoble.
Grenoble-Beautiful view of Cours Jean Jaures from the Bastille, France
Not far from this museum, there is Art Museum of Grenoble. This museum is free on the first Sunday of each month, the rest of the day you have to pay. When I was there, they had a special exhibition by an artist called Juan Munoz. This art museum proudly stored work by Matisse, Rubens, Picasso and Renoir to name a few. You will enjoy a nice time here. Since I love shopping for household stuff, I like this cute shop called Casa at rue Lafayette. My friend loves this Kebab restaurant at rue Chenoise, I tried the kebab too, and true, it is nice. The owner opened another new restaurant just opposite of the Kebab restaurant but this time he sells Pizza and Sandwich. This street is popular with Arab shop, restaurants and Baklava shop but they are not from Turkey. I saw in France nowadays many restaurant have a sign at the window with the word Halal, probably it is easier for the Muslim people. There is also a nice Halal butchery shop at the end of this street.
Grenoble-View of the dramatic skies, bubble/cable car and me at Isere River, France
I saw a delicious roasted chicken on the roller in this shop. Opposite of this butchery is another wet market; they open from 7am to 1pm, located at place Aux Herbes.

 

Let us talk about Bars now, 2mins walk from Madame Mari-Jo restaurant, is our friend bar at rue De Turenne, it is very local and frenchy. Very nice place and Sylviane the barmaid are ready to serve you drink anytime.  The people that came to this bar called Le tire bouchon seem to know each other, since this is a small city. My friend and I also had a drink at Bar Gaudi at Cours Berriat, different vibe here. They played Latin or salsa music, if you are bored, no one talks to you; you can look at the big plasma TV.

Grenoble-Bayard Statue at Saint Andre Square, France
  Moreover, there is Leila; she worked at a bar called Bar de l 'Univers at boulevard Jean Jaures, very popular with portugese people. Leila can make you laugh, I liked her, she is likes my new best friend and she resemblance Madonna to me, looks at her mole. ;-p There are many bars in this little city, just find one that you comfortable with.

 

You can find more wet markets around this city; there is one near place Saint Andre. Very interesting area with big Cathédrale Notre-Dame and you can find Statue of Bayard there.

Grenoble-With friends at Quai d’Orsay, France
  The other wet market I saw is at rue Saint Claire. Opposite of this market you can find a big building for tourist information. Near rue Saint Claire, there is a street called rue Voltaire, for art lovers, you can find many art galleries from the local artists and many antique shops. They also build a new tourist centre at Saint Andre Square; the building is an old court of justice. Rumors said that they going to build a hotel too. Sound good to me. A must see when you are here are the Bastille, the Fort that protected Grenoble, it is the one and only places of interest that you can enjoy a scenic view and because the town is very flat. They have a bubble/cable car that can bring you up the hill BUT my friend prefers us to climb. I do not have the confident at first but the weather is nice and we do it slowly. He brought along 1.5Litre bottle of water, very considerate of him. It took us one half hour to reach the top, we do it slowly. The view from the top are marvelous, breathtaking, you can see nearly all of Grenoble. At one side on a clear day, you can see Mont Blanc standing.
Grenoble-At d'a cote bar with Leila, France
Mont Blanc is the highest in Europe and remembers Toblerone chocolate logo? ;-) Below Bastille, you can see ‘little Italy’, an area called Saint Laurent, many Italian restaurants along the banks of Isere River.  At night, it is very beautiful with lights. Moreover, you can see three white building standing that used to hold 1968 Winter Olympic competitors. This located at boulevard Leclerc but now it became a residential flat.  Not very far from this building, I saw a cemetery; my friend told me it is for everyone, the Christian, Muslim and the Jew. You can also see cours Jean Jaures, the longest street in Grenoble. From the climb I felt myself like an athlete but later when I check my weight, nothing change, suck! A few minute walk from Bastille area, there located the main train station of Grenoble. The area called Europole, you can find an interesting take-away Chinese Fast food restaurant and if you want to eat there, they serve a buffet style, worth your money.
Grenoble-Strawberries in the market at L’ Estacade, France
This is also the area where you can find many hotels. Behind the train station is the World Trade Center. You will find a street called rue du Vercors, nearly to the end of this street you will find a small truck and have a sign says Petit Toscane, our friend Vicente owned a truck that sells Pizza, look for it, and I vouch for the deliciousness of the Pizza, lol.

 

My friend brought me to another wet market at L’ Estacade, you can see from the photo I attached with this journal, very nice and besides there a bar called Bar d’a cote, on one Sunday morning, we met Jeanine and Leila there.

Grenoble-Part of old town and architecture not far from Notre Dame, France
We drank white wine, enjoy the company and suddenly a suggestion came up asking me if I can cook an Asian dinner for all of us. Since I found Asian groceries store, infect two nearby, I said Yes. They helped me to cook too that night but my friend Jeanine keeps coming in and out of the kitchen. After the dinner then we found out that, when Jeanine offer to cook at her house earlier, she was drunk and she never let anyone else apart from me to use her kitchen before. I am so lucky because she’s clean freak. All of us at the dinner were laughing so hard. In addition, yes! I can cook, not like a greatest Chef but my friends compliment me, lol.  I also found Rajah Store not far from boulevard Gambetta, where I can get my spices, also a shop called World market opposite University of Commerce. Round at the corner of Rajah Store, there is a bread shop where my friend bought for our breakfast every morning. French loaf is wonderful. The last night when I was there, my friends came to Sylviane’s Bar, to drink together and to celebrate my last night there. They are very kind. This place leave a big impact to me not only I love Grenoble but also I leave behind great friends that offer me their true friendship.
Grenoble-View from the Isere River, France
As for Grenoble, it is for me, for you and for everybody. I cannot wait to plan to go back there again.

 

Je pars mon chapeau pour vous mon ami, un très bon ami à moi maintenant, Monsieur B.Polge, merci beaucoup, je reviendrai. Ceci l'un pour vous et mon ami tendre dans Grenoble, J ;-)

 

sylviandavid says:
Great blog.... Thanks for sharing it... you are a good guest... Sylvia
Posted on: Oct 09, 2007
brownh27 says:
love the photos of the food yum :)
Posted on: Sep 13, 2007
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Grenoble-Bar Le tire bouchon with…
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Grenoble-Building a tent at the g…
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Grenoble-Sylvi fixing a tent at t…
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Grenoble-View of the hills from t…
Grenoble-View of the hills from th…
Grenoble-View of the hills from t…
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Grenoble-Pierre,Svlvie and Luc at…
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Grenoble-Lunch at the garden in L…
Grenoble-Lunch at the garden in La…
Grenoble-Lunch at the garden in L…
Grenoble-Lunch at the garden in La…
Grenoble-Lunch at the garden in L…
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Grenoble-Bernard watering the pla…
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Grenoble-Me at the wheat fields n…
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Grenoble-L'echeveche museum, France
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Grenoble-Rocks at the bottom of B…
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Grenoble-Nice building near place…
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Grenoble-Street sign of place St.…
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Grenoble-Vicente on her truck Pet…
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Grenoble-Statue not far from Quai…
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Grenoble-Bar Le tire bouchon, Fra…
Grenoble-Bar Le tire bouchon, Fran…
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Grenoble-Bar Le tire bouchon, Fran…
Grenoble-Bar Le tire bouchon, Fra…
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Grenoble-Gas company car, France
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Grenoble-Bar Le tire bouchon with…
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Grenoble-At night, view from Bast…
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Grenoble-Bar Le tire bouchon with…
Grenoble-Bar Le tire bouchon with …
Grenoble-Bar Le tire bouchon with…
Grenoble-Bar Le tire bouchon with …
Grenoble-Bar Le tire bouchon with…
Grenoble-Bar Le tire bouchon with …
Grenoble-Bar Le tire bouchon with…
Grenoble-Bar Le tire bouchon with …
Grenoble-Bar Le tire bouchon with…
Grenoble-Bar Le tire bouchon with …
Grenoble-Bar Le tire bouchon with…
Grenoble-Bar Le tire bouchon with …
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Grenoble Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Le Tonneau de Diogène - In Memory
Please take note that this restaurant have change owner and the new name is called The Village. Le Tonneau de Diogène, I recommended this restaura… read entire review
Grenoble Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Le tire bouchon at rue De Turenne is a small and very friendly bar and also restaurant. They only serve food during lunch time. People who come for lu… read entire review
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photo by: moreno1968