Not dreaming of a white Christmas …

… but we are remembering one

Our first visit to France was in 2009 and we arrived in Paris in the second week of December. The first three days were sunny but more and more chilly. Then, on our fourth morning, we woke to find snow falling outside our hotel window.

Morning snow from our hotel window

Morning snow from our hotel window

As you might imagine, we Aussies were quite excited. After breakfast – orange juice, croissants, coffee, you know how it goes in France – we made our way to Musee Rodin. The garden scenes were breathtaking.

Thinking of a white Christmas?

Thinking of a white Christmas?

From the Musee Rodin

From the Musee Rodin towards Montparnasse

At the end of that week, we joined a coach tour of France. Our first day took across the snow-laden countryside of Burgundy towards the foothills of the Alps.

Ice wine on the vine

Ice wine on the vine

The second day of the tour took us further south, arriving at Aix-en-Provence in the afternoon. In the main street, we found a frozen fountain cascade. Seriously cold!

Fountain frozen in time, Aix-en-Provence

Fountain frozen in time, Aix-en-Provence

The tour then took us to the Mediterranean coast, with two nights in each of Nice and Marseilles. (We even saw some snow in shaded gullies on the outskirts of Nice!) Then we made our way to Avignon, where we spent Christmas Eve. The night market at Avignon was the prettiest we saw in France.

Market, Christmas Eve, Avignon

Market, Christmas Eve, Avignon

In the local Hotel de Ville (town hall) there was a display of santons, the traditional nativity figurines. Visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santon_(figurine) for more information.

Display of Santons, Avignon

Display of Santons, Avignon

Our kitchen santon

Our kitchen santon

It is also traditional for each town hall to feature a table set for a Christmas meal and laden with various treats.

French Christmas dinner table, Hotel de Ville, Avignon

French Christmas dinner table, Hotel de Ville, Avignon

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About rmgtravelsandfood

Maggie and I were both born in the early 1950s and we live in Melbourne, Australia. This blog is mainly devoted to our shared passions for travel and fine dining at home. Recently, I added Australian politics to the scope of the blog, inspired by the election of a Labor Government at a national level. Rick Grounds
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