IMG_5633Christmas spirit is in full force around Carcassonne. The skating rink in the central square is resisting melting away (it’s 11 Celsius or 52 Fahrenheit as I write this). Even more lights are up, including new, illuminated Santas. Many grandparents were out with their grandchildren–there’s only a half day of school on Wednesdays (some schools have gone back to a four-day week with Wednesday off), and grandparents often babysit. I much enjoyed eavesdropping on a talkative girl of about eight who was ambling around la Cité with her obviously besotted grandfather. IMG_5658

IMG_5644
A municipal worker sweeping the streets with a festive touch.
P1090259
Rides for the kids. There’s a styrofoam “hill” for “sledding”–no snow here. 

The shops were welcoming beacons in the dark, looking all cozy inside, with little holiday touches and shoppers collecting presents. Year-round, French shopkeepers generally ask whether a purchase is a gift and will either put it in a pretty bag with a ribbon or will wrap it for you. They almost never charge, except when there’s a charity group doing the wrapping as a fund-raiser.IMG_5521A Christmas market encircles the skating rink. It isn’t a big market and more than half of it is devoted to food. It bustles with people having a drink with friends and snacking on delicacies like oysters or aligot (a cheesy potato dish).

IMG_5651
Merchandise side.
P1090251
Food side. Much more crowded!
IMG_5645
The skating rink was privy to a light show of garish intensity. 
P1090238
A former church that now houses art exhibits. Currently featuring a really lovely collection of photographs.
IMG_5647
Plaid blankets draped over the chairs at this terrace café.

P1090240

P1090258
The Porte Monumentale des Jacobins, built in 1779, named after a nearby convent, not after the revolutionary political club, which came later.

P1090246IMG_5626

The giant snowballs that loom over the pedestrian shopping street are much prettier by night.IMG_5665IMG_5629

Village lights are more modest, but charming in their own way.P1090226P1090228

Carcassonne added some classy chandelier-style lights this year.P1090253P1090254

P1090255
Carcassonne’s city hall looking regal.

One of the most charming things I saw was this sign at a café/restaurant:IMG_5501

“For those who are alone on the evening of the 24th, come spend the evening at Ô Deliz Café”…”Party meal and musical ambiance. A warm welcome…”

That’s the spirit of Christmas! Regardless whether you celebrate Christmas, I hope the lights where you are bring as much magic as I found in the display here. Wishing you the happiest of holidays.IMG_5619

Advertisements

17 thoughts on “Lights! Christmas! Action!

  1. Wonderful images. It truly is magical. The lights bring out the child in all of us….
    Thank you for your blog. I always look forward to the varied subject you post.
    A HAPPY AND MERRY…
    Ali

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think the real magic of Christmas is the way it turns on the happy tap in most people. Carcassonne has certainly made an effort to look her finest and I imagine it would be pretty tough to be grumpy with all that pretty around. A very Happy Christmas to you all and I look forward to more of your lovely posts from the other side of France next year. PS: The plaid amused me …. a plaid plaid, I guess since the French call a throw a plaid 😉

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.