That time a guy licked my camera

After missing countless buses back to Grenoble, I was finally on a tram back home to my new residence… but wait, what was this? Little huts in the middle of Place Victor Hugo—was this like a better-designed Hooverville?

No, it was the Grenoble Christmas market. Christmas has finally arrived in Grenoble (although as an American, I feel like this really marginalizes Thanksgiving, right?). But as a study-abroad student looking for something awesome to do and eat, I went to check it out today.

We started our journey at Place Grenette, right by the Maison du Tourisme stop.

women in Christmas market booth display of French goods for Christmas market IMG_3367 earring rack with earrings in the shape of baked goods Arranged cupcakes

But knowing about Christmas markets from Christkindlmarket in Chicago every year, I knew exactly what I wanted: vin chaud (hot wine) and german sausage… andwafflesandsconesandcrêpes.

As we scurried up to the first booth we saw selling hot wine, the monsieur greeted us happily. “Bonsoir!” we replied, eager to get our hot wine on. But first, we had to pass a conversation in French in which he told us about all the nationalities that dropped by that day and ended with a warm, golden chestnut in each of our cold hands.


I have to admit, I was a little disappointed in the scale of the Grenoble markets… until my good friend Lisa scoffed and brought me over to the main section in Place Victor Hugo. Ah, much better!

IMG_3376 From there, we tackled the layout strategically. Shang would’ve been so proud of our tactical skills; outside first, then weaving into the inner lanes, then after seeing what every booth had to offer, we could start our purchases. Choose wisely, or else you may stumble onto a better deal tucked into a corner a few booths over.

IMG_3379 IMG_3380 IMG_3382 IMG_3386


We were doing excellently with our plan of action until… the smell of food wafted on over and, like me on day 2 of a diet, we fell hard. There is this specific dish in France that I love a lot… we’ve seen it before when I went to Annecy for a day; sausage drenched in a white wine along with onions and cabbages and whatever low-nutrient vegetable that blends into bread.

French-sausage-dish IMG_3393 IMG_3399 IMG_3400

We peeked into each booth, saying hello and having small conversations here and there, but never buying anything. Although, I do want to return to get some leather-bound journals that look like Bilbo and Frodo wrote Lord of the Rings in them. The only problem with getting something like that is feeling like normal pens no longer suffice—you’d have to write in those babies with calligraphy. 


Here’s hoping we went early enough for me to escape a larger probability of getting lice from all those hats I tried on.

spices in tubes


Remember the raclette I had the other day? The French have found a way to turn it into street food with these long cheese-heaters (think those space heaters they put at Costco entrances). This was not the only fancy dish we saw that day. Unlike in the states, where the greasier fair food is, the better it is, the quality of the food comes first here.

While walking around, we accidentally walked through a few makeshift restaurants that had something like a clambake going on. Whaat? In the states I would never have any form of seafood at a fair. That’s as good as taking a laxative. Although much tastier… I must rethink my choices.

woman serving raclette in Grenoble Christmas market IMG_3408


Finally, when we were no longer able to feel our toes (where are my fuzzy socks when I need them?), we finally allowed ourselves to eat. I chose a Hot Duck, which is supposed to be wordplay on “hot dog.” Hint: try pronouncing “duck” with a French accent.

What it was was duck in the shape of a sausage… covered in foie gras. That’s duck… covered in… duck (liver). It’s like that Tur-turkey-key that Ted Mosby made that one time. Drizzled generously on top of the sausage was honey mustard, which really added another layer to the sandwich. My only complaint was that the sausage was so freakin’ small for such a large baguette.


Look at it; it’s like swaddling a baby in a sleeping bag.

hot dock honey mustard

I quickly finished it because it was so so small and I was quite hungry from only eating two McDonalds meals that day. While Anna was ordering her only order (mistake), I decided to get another heartier sausage sandwich.

IMG_3422 IMG_3423 IMG_3424 This turned out to be a great idea because, as you can see, there were TWO FAT SAUSAGES for the price of ONE! According to my calculations, that’s a grand total of THREE sausages in ONE christmas market visit.

I have no regrets.

Oh right, except for the man that ALMOST KISSED MY CAMERA. There we were, waiting for our tram at the Victor Hugo stop, when the man whom we were standing next to bent down to the lens of my camera and mimed licking it.

We shouldn’t have been surprised. As we approached the stop, he had been opening what seemed to be his sixth bottle of beer that night.

“Bisous, bisous pour le camara,” he said, creeping closer and closer into my personal bubble, which has really gotten quite small here in Europe.

I swear, my brain is really never present in these completely weird, bizarre moments of my life; I only react physically to things. So what my body decided it was best to do was to root myself to where we were standing and just calmly turn the lens away from him while thinking, Good thing I put the lens cap back on! Whereas Anna, who has a much better flight-or-fight response, hurried away towards the people on the other side of the platform.

Linking up with Bonnie today!

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  • Pristine Remolona

    Oh my gosh. Love all these pictures and jealous you live near a Christmas market! I think the closest one to me might be in Chamonix, but even then I’m sure it’s not very big. Popping over from the Travel Tuesday linkup. Thanks for sharing

    • Mishfish13

      Yeah, I’m loving it! Do you live near Chamonix?? That’s awesome and (somewhat) nearby!

      • Pristine Remolona

        Yup! I live in Verbier so just about 45 min or so away

  • Dannielle @ Chicadeedee

    Christmas markets are the best! Good to see France has them too. It looks like they have really similar stuff to here only more expensive!

    • Mishfish13

      Yes, I love them! Especially ones with food—how can you possibly have markets without food?? (I’m talking to you, Madrid).

  • Marisol@TravelingSolemates

    Hi Michelle, thanks for taking me to this fun, festive Christmas market. I haven’t been to a Christmas in Europe so this is such a treat. Love all the holiday trinkets and the local food. And you guys really know how to show your appreciation for the food offerings:) Ugghhh, that guys is creepy. I’m glad you handled it calmly.

    • Mishfish13

      Thanks, Marisol for visiting! The next time you’re in town near the holidays, you MUST go to a market! We always try to convince ourselves that food is a cultural event, so we must have lots of it!

  • Arman @ thebigmansworld

    Christmas markets all over Europe are the best- The atmosphere and the amazing food (and mulled wine!). That is duck overload right there!

    • Mishfish13

      I know. I felt like I was trying to consume a whole duck… not the best of experiences, of course. Sorry I’ve been totally MIA so far, Arman! I swear I’m reading your posts… I just don’t have time to comment :)

      • Arman @ thebigmansworld

        don’t apologise! I save up all your posts to read them in one go on the weekend- its like a novel ha!

        • Mishfish13

          Hahaha same :) lately I’ve felt like I need to limit the time I spend in the blogosphere.