IMG_0238Signs of Christmas everywhere. Windows decorated, especially at the bakeries and chocolate shops. The shop above, Bimas, is renowned in Carcassonne, a veritable art gallery of cakes and chocolates. Eye candy for the mouth. P1060388The bûches de noël range from traditional to more modern, like the ones above. P1060329And graisse de noël–Christmas fat!–has appeared in the cheese shops. Graisse de noël is a cross between Cantal cheese and butter. Very rich, very good.IMG_0249IMG_0250Shops are decorated, mostly low-key, with wreaths and garlands, but some, like the florist above, are in full-on holiday mode.

Minimalist, yet somehow cozy.
The bane of crafty pallets has arrived.

The skating rink is trying to stay frozen as temperatures climb into the mid-teens Celsius (flirting with 60 Fahrenheit). The Christmas market and holiday amusement park fill with people in the evenings when the lights go on. Square Gambetta’s plane trees twinkle with lights. I like its tree.IMG_0242I was surprised to see flowers blooming in the square. Roses and whatever these plants are. The leaves look like bamboo, but what are those pink flowers?IMG_0247IMG_0245People tend to do low-key decorations on their homes, too. A few lights, some wreaths. An occasional Santa hanging from a window or balcony.IMG_0014Even little villages decorate. I like the variety of church steeples outlined in lights.

You know you’re in France when there’s a château in the background.

IMG_0220Of course, la Cité needs no decoration. It was particularly moody on a foggy morning last week.IMG_0232The sunrises and sunsets lately have been stunning. This photo is as-is, no editing. Kind of like this post, which is a verbal potluck.IMG_0224Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you. May all your sunrises be beautiful and bright.

36 thoughts on “Christmas in Carcassonne

  1. Beautiful photographs, very evocative. Here in Sydney, Australia they are not big on decorating their shops, some do but not many nor with any style or imagination. Lots of lights on houses in the suburbs, very Griswold at times but cheerful. Merry Christmas, love your blog and your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I live in Lake Mary, Florida and there aren’t hardly any small shops. Mostly big chain stores like Target and TJMaxx and they don’t decorate or have windows to decorate.
    I would like read your experiences and imagine what life would be like there. Someday….
    Thanks for sharing the smallest of details about France and the things you see and experience.
    Merry Christmas

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Here, the big stores are on the periphery of towns, which keeps them out of sight as far as eyesores, but they also act as magnets, sucking life out of the city centers. There’s still enough soul in the centre ville here that it’s a nice place to shop.


  3. Great pictures, as always. You find interesting details that are very unique to your area. You are right, la Cite would look quite silly with decorations ( in my opinion ).Marry Christmas to you and yours!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a fun post. I got the last of my shopping done yesterday here in Kentucky , and will spend today cooking and wrapping. It’s fun to think about what that would look like in Carcassonne. Thanks for updates and Merry Christmas to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Evocative photos of a Christmassy Carcassonne. Maybe one year we’ll spend Christmas in Castelnaudary! On our drive up to Dieppe, I noticed a lot of Santas attempting to climb over balconies etc. Has this become a French thing?!
    All best wishes to you and your family for a very Happy Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ha! Bimas is the patisserie we could see from the windows of the language school, across the road, and where I didn’t dare go in. LOL
    Happy to see the carousel. I was worried about it during the floods.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Joyeux Noël to you, Catherine. Thank you for always taking me back to my favorite part of my homeland, la province, with your stories. I am glad we connected this year and hope to stay in touch, as I work through the challenges of relocating to France after so many years. A bientôt! Véronique (French Girl in Seattle)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you again for an enjoyable read on a far away place that has captured my interest. I love your interpretations and photos.
    Merry Christmas! Jan

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Joyeux Noël! Merry Christmas to you and your family. We do not have a white Christmas in Argentina, luckily the sun is shining and the temps are not so high right now.
    Your photos are a delightful trip to France, its culture, its history as well as little snippets of life in Carcassonne.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We can see the snow on the Pyrénées, which are only about 100 kms away, but here the temperatures are balmy, around 16 C/ 60 F. No chance of a white Christmas.
      As a longtime tango afficionada, I hope to visit Argentina one day.


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