Azara Blog: Grenoble observations

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Date published: 2006/02/24

Grenoble has one of the many regional airports in Europe now being served by the cheap airlines from the UK (by Ryanair from Stansted and Easyjet from Gatwick). The airport terminal itself is a good example of modern terminal architecture (lots of glass and an interesting structural frame), finished in 2001, so it provides a good welcome (especially when it is sunny).

Although no flights from Russia are explicitly listed, there are a fair few signs in Russian in the airport terminal building. Indeed the biggest such sign had smaller print English below which said "Drinking alcohol is strictly forbidden inside the lounge", with no equivalent in French. So perhaps the Russians and Brits have been causing problems (or course English is a universal language so it might be that the Brits are innocent).

The buildings of downtown Grenoble make the city look a lot like a miniature version of Paris, with "imperial" (or "beaux arts") style seeming to dominate, with a few art deco apartment blocks. And there is a tram (with a not very extensive network), which is unusual.

And of course there are the mountains. Well there was not much snow except in the distant view, and some of the river beds looked very dry so it seems Grenoble might be suffering from a drought.

Being France you can get decent food at not crazy prices. One restaurant had the amusing note on its menu: "Sélection de nos alcols: Pour Monsieur: Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados; Pour Madame: Poire William, Framboises Mirabelle, Chartreuse VEP". Well you would be hard put to find anything quite so blatantly sexist in any restaurant in the UK.

Another restaurant served "Twinings of London" tea. Only the label not only mentioned the variety ("Thé de Ceylon") but beneath that proudly mentioned "Scotland". Perhaps the French prefer Scottish to English companies, so this might all just be a marketing ploy.

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