Christmas Market Along The Champs Elysees
Here he is. The man of the hour welcoming everyone to the Christmas Market along the Champs Elysees. He's the only Pere Noel that I have seen in Paris. He looks like he may have been imported from North America. This market is also the only place I've heard Christmas music and "Frosty the Snowman" in French is quite delightful. Do you know why the music was delightful? They weren't blaring it like they do back home. The music was a part of the ambience; not the main event.
This is the biggest Christmas market in Paris and it runs up and down the Champs Elysees. Because today was Sunday, everybody was here. Parisians love to enjoy their city on Sundays. It is a day that starts with a good hearty lunch either at a restaurant or their grandparents' home and then everyone goes for a stroll in the park.
There were hundreds of these little wooden houses with people selling Christmas gifts but the majority of the vendors were selling food and drink. It is Paris you remember and the people here do have their priorities. There seemed to be every kind of French food you could think of .
This artisan was selling beautiful crepes. Do you see the large vats of "vin chaud?" It seems everyone was selling hot or mulled wine. Drinking wine on the streets of the Champs Elysees.
Could life get any better?
Don't you love this patissier's face? He's soooo French and his beautiful shortbread cookies were soooo good and he looks soooo happy. Does your work make you this happy?
There were smiles on everyone's face. This lovely lady was making plump waffles. Her booth smelled heavenly. Do you see that white cloud on top of the waffle? It's a huge pile of real whipped cream. Sinful, n'est-ce pas? No wonder everyone is so happy in Paris. But how do they stay so slim????
Along with vin chaud, you may need a little more substance like .... frog legs or snails. See the copper pan on the little stove? It's filled with real butter. Be still my heart.
If the vin chaud is not keeping you warm, then you have to huddle around this wire cage that has an encased flame that pumps out heat. These contraptions are all up and down the street just in case you need a little warm up.
The market starts on the Place de la Concorde and there it was ... a large ferris wheel. I love ferris wheels and this was a particularly tall one. What a wonderful way to see Paris.
It was Sunday and the lines were extremely long. Then I saw the ride's name and half of the lights in the letters weren't working. I wasn't feeling terribly self-assured. One would hope that the maintenance crew was spending more time keeping the ride safe which would account for the lack of lights. I am going back tomorrow to give it a whirl. The kids will be in school and I will get a longer ride.
At 5 o'clock, all the Christmas lights come on along the Champs Elysees. It's truly beautiful although the picture doesn't do it justice. Do you see the Arc de Triomphe at the far end? As I walked back to my apartment, more and more people were arriving.
Guess it was time to eat again.
All photos taken by Meg Mitchell.