One of the Holiday traditions of France is the Christmas market. (I apologize for the blurriness of these images. It is not your eyes!)
These photos were taken about 10 years ago in Avignon. At the time, I was settled in Provence, specifically in Bonnieux, an historic tiny Luberon hill village, a far more populated village in the summer than the winter. But that’s a story for another day.
I was staying overnight in Avignon because the next morning I was headed to Amsterdam, by rail, for a few days, getting there just in time to meet up with my daughter who was flying in from California. We are both fond of Amsterdam so we decided to arrange a quick stay there, allowing her to start to acclimate to the time change before flying to Africa–Tanzania and Zanzibar to be exact–for a couple of weeks of safaris! And, then to continue our adventure, we were getting back, just in time, to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s at my apartment in Bonnieux.
I am exceedingly fond of train rides in Europe. They allow me to see the lay of the land rather than just do a quick fly-over. Add in that I had the time and the choice was made. My travel day involved a TGV, which if you are not familiar, is a fast/speedy train so only about 2.5 hours to Paris (by car, it can take about 8 hours), a brief layover in Paris, and then another train to Amsterdam (3 hours).
After driving to Avignon from Bonnieux and checking into my hotel, I hastily made my way to the Christmas market before closing time, even though it was rainy and on the chilly side. I’m guessing between the rain and the reflection from the strands of lights, I just had too much competition to end up with better photos.
By the way, in Paris, I have seen Christmas markets set up from Concorde to the start of the shops on the Champs Elysees. Also, in Paris they seem to locate themselves on Blvd. Saint-Germain kicking off across the street from Les Deux Magots.
This is just a quick fuzzy glance of what the Avignon market looked like:
Pretty sweet-looking temporary shop with some leaves resting on the front of this shuttered up one.
Maybe drinking hot mulled wine or hot chocolate–both favorites at this Holiday celebration time?
A variety of toys and Santa hats, for instance.
Some people enjoying the market in spite of getting soaked.
No takers for a ride?
To give you more information on the French Christmas traditions, It’s fun to look at this list put together by EXPATICA. You can compare French traditions to those of where you call home. Of course, the market is just one of the 20+ traditions on their list.
If you have the time, you may want to poke around some more on the EXPATICA guide/newsletter website. If you are considering a move to France, you can certainly get more detail on this website.
I do have a couple of posts from the 2018 Holiday season that might interest you. They speak, more thoroughly, to a couple of other French Christmas traditions:
***Welcome! Dinner is Being Served–Provencal-Cote d’ Azur Style: December 24, 2018 and another:
***King Cake: January 5, 2018
John Lennon singing: “So this is Christmas”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHLd7HQfZfA