This is my fifth visit to my favorite city in the world, and with each visit I never cease to be amazed at what the City of Lights has in store for me. (Yes, poor spoiled me, tagging along on Darling Husband’s work trip again.)
Walking through the Habitrail that is Charles de Gaulle airport I commented to Tony, “That looks like an animal shed.”
And it was. Just outside Terminal 2F the sheep may safely graze?
For this visit we’re in Le Marais, Paris’ 4eme on Rive Droit (Right Bank). (I strategically positioned
us myself to be near to the list of stores on my Christmas shopping list. Smart, no?)
Classic restored 18th century building, steps from the Pompidou Center. Literally.
After settling in, checking with the children, and a most amazing Italian lunch at a place nearby, we wasted two hours on my least favorite Parisian sport: grocery shopping on a Sunday. Though I am loathe to criticize my favorite city in any way, c’mon Paris! Even Vienna doesn’t shut travelers out of milk, coffee, and bath tissue on Sunday!
The afternoon light fading, what better way to spend a December evening in Paris than with the half-million other visitors at the Paris Village de Nöel, along the famed L’avenue des Champs- Élysées.
Oh. My. Goodness. If ever Munich’s Oktoberfest, America’s Infomercial Channel, and the Wiener Kristkindlmarkt were to have a love child, it would be the Paris Village de Nöel.
Our walk through the lighted and loud 200+ stalls began pleasantly enough…
We rather enjoyed some of the international offerings, too. Canadian sweets and treats?
Norwegian salmon or Catalunyan sausage?
Or how about a Santa Claus Matruschka? Ponder that, if you will.
In the mood for some bratwurst or German beer (we weren’t), the Paris Village de Nöel has you covered.
Rockin’ around the Ice Rink and Psychedelic jumbo slide with pop music on the Jumbotron!
A “zoo” along the boulevard was big with the villagegoers. Because animated mountain lions and coyotes in a desert scene oozes holiday cheer.
The Jolly Old Elf himself could be found with a little effort, mixed in with Infomercial booths for “Scarves that double as hats!”, “Singing Bowls–Amaze your Friends”! and other useless tchotchke.
Tucked high up in the corner of a furry hat stall was a Nativity, the only one we found.
Tired from all that walking? These ad hoc masseuse were at the ready to sooth those aching muscles.
Sadly, all of the pretty photos of Le Tour Eiffel that we took from Pont des Invalides were a little blurry. I can not be certain, but perhaps our glasses of holiday cheer had something to do with that.
We escaped the Village safely and made our way back to Le Marais and a cozy brasserie window seat by which to enjoy the plat du jour, perfectly grilled steak with peppercorn sauce.
As well as a dessert cheese (Saint Marcellin) so luscious I brought one home for breakfast in the morning.
I love Paris.