When things don't go as planned: searching for Christmas Markets and vin chaud in Paris
Take a close look at the deserted Place Saint-Sulpice. Do you see any signs of a festive Christmas market? I didn't either even though a couple of websites mention it as a popular destination with vendors selling arts and crafts and tasty food. Standing in the cold wind yesterday evening, I whipped out my iPhone to confirm the address. Yup, Saint Sulpice, second largest church in Paris. This was the place - so where were all of the market stalls? Since I'm usually inclined to believe what I read on reputable sites on the internet, I wandered around and asked some of the locals about the location of the market. Most of them looked at me as if I was slightly deranged but can you blame them? I would question someone's sanity if they were muttering about vin chaud, marché de Noël, and Santa's Village when there was obviously nothing there. And worst of all, I was doing it in French with an American accent.
Even though everyone seemed to recall that there had been a market at the Place Saint-Sulpice, it took awhile for someone to suggest going to the Christmas Market on the Boulevard Saint-Germain. As it was only a short walk, I decided to head in that direction. Plus, the thought of mulled wine was a strong incentive to track down the illusive vendors.
Click to enlarge photos.
Things took a turn for the better when I spied the bright lights of the famous café, Les Deux Magots, and headed towards them like the proverbial "moth to a flame".
And, voila! There was the Christmas Market with an assortment of goodies.
|Colorful scarves and shawls|
|Christmas ornaments with Parisian themes|
|Best of all, a big pot of steaming hot mulled wine with orange slices and cinnamon sticks floating on top!|
And did I solve the mystery of the missing market? You bet! It was closed because it didn't attract enough visitors last year, so all of the vendors moved to the other Christmas markets, including the one on Blvd Saint-Germain.
Moral of the story: Be persistent - even if it means making a fool out of yourself. You may not find what you're looking for in Paris, but perhaps you'll find something even better. Wearing a warm coat and gloves help keep you warm on your journey!