Christmas markets, snowflakes and the Champs-Élysées

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December 20th 2010
Published: December 25th 2010
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What a way to wake up in Paris...a white, fluffy blanket of snow covered the ground with delicate snowflakes still silently falling! We rugged up and ventured into the winter wonderland. Having read about some fantastic markets at Porte de Clignancourt we headed in that direction to meet up with Brett and Lans. Being at the end of the line, the area wasn't the greatest Paris has to offer but it gave us an insight into the local way of life. Whilst waiting for the markets to open we found a boulangerie, grabbed ourselves a croissant and looked for a cafe to have a cappuccino. Can you believe in the land of cafes, we ended up in McDonalds having a coffee. I was disgusted in myself but after searching the immediate area and with fingers and toes succumbing to frostbite we had to take the only thing on offer!

With the blood circulating again we went to explore these fantastic antique and vintage markets. We were sorely disappointed and we're still not sure if it was the weather that kept everyone (including the vendors) away or simlply bad information! Anyway, Lans and I bought some cheap boots so as to not make the trip a total waste and went off to search for better coffee!

We ended up at Les Halles which is the large shopping centre in the middle of Paris. We tried to shop a little but with two kids and Christmas shoppers in hordes, we'd had enough in half an hour so took the kids home for a sleep.

The kids slept well but when it came time to wake them up, it took around 15 minutes. Considering it is the middle of the night right at that time, they really were in a deep, deep slumber! I felt like a terrible mummy waking them but it ws the right thing to do.

After wiping the sleep from the girls' eyes, we again took to the Paris Metro to meet Brett and Lans at the Arc De Triumph. We strolled down the Champs-Élysées with millions of other Christmas tourists. It really is an amazing boulevard. The blue lights hanging across the road make it sound like a cheap, underage disco but they work. They proudly announce this incredible street and there really is nothing like it in the world....the street cafes, the incredible, concept stores that rise above the streets, coping a lung-full of smoke from the well-dressed Parisian walking in front! Ahhhh, Paris! We meandered along with everyone else, just soaking up the Christmas atmosphere on the most expensive street in the world! We made it down to the Christmas Markets near Concorde but the snow had turned to rain and it was threatening to soak to our skin. And although the markets were so quintessentially European and Christmasy, we decided to get home before one or all of us got sick. We did have time to grab a pretzel and a vin chaud (hot wine) just to really solidify that we were indeed in Europe at the height of Christmas.


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