Christmas markets - Parisien style!
- Worth a visit?
A Christmas market at France’s capital. The atmopshere “felt” right – with the cold weathr helping too!
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The early start for our visit to the Paris Christmas markets never materialised. This was partly due to few glasses of red the night before and partly due to enjoying the lay over. The alarm clock tried several times, but each time I pressed “snooze”!
Eventually, out of bed, breakfast and so on, we took the short stroll from the Camping Beau Village to the local RER station at St Genevieve des Bois. The ticket cost us 14 euro per person but also included use of the Metro and buses in Paris. A friend had kindly given me some French rail vouchers which were accepted for payment. The ticket clerk was more than helpful and told us to put our names on the day tickets. She also asked for my friend’s telephone number for herself!
On arrival in Paris, we walked from Les Invalides to the Eiffel Tower and noted the mist was clearing, but decided to spend one hour or so on the river boats before doing anything else. We opted for a one hour trip on the “Bateaux Parisiens”, costing 12 euro per person. On reflection, and based on previous trips to Paris, the nearby Bateaux Mouches offer a better commentary on board. For me though, this is irrelevant as I have been to Paris “at least” 30 times in the past 15 years.
After the trip on the boats, we patrolled the Eiffel Tower area and observed a high level of security – both army and police personnel present. The queue for the lifts was long so we opted to climb – and climb we did. The admission the “level 2”, on foot was 4.70 euro per person. From level 2, we took the lift to the top, costing a few euros each. Even at the second level there was a queue for the lift but we did notice that only two of the four lifts were working! Anyway – we did it and the views were OK, spoiled in part by mist and smog.
The descent took some time – now only one lift was working, so on arrival at the second level, we opted to walk! Another 700 steps to go!
Our next port of call was the Pont d’Alma as my friend wanted to see the area where Princess Diana was so tragically killed. We then we walked to the Arc de Triompe, pausing only at a fine restaurant on the Champs Elysees for lunch. Burger, chips and beer for 6.60 euro, yes, OK, it was McDonalds! My pal bought a berret and from then on, I christened him Leroy Merlin rather than Lee. Later though I thought Frank Spencer was more appropriate!
Continuing on foot, and with sunlight fading, we walked down the Champs Elysees to enjoy the Parisien Christmas markets offering hot wine, cheeses, toys, decorations etc. It was probably one of the best Christmas markets I have seen, and quite unexpected. Music was piped along the boulevard and the whole thing just “felt right”. A job well done.
The ferris wheel caught our eye but we felt that would be a better “event” in total darkness. Therefore we walked to the Notre Dame, did more local sight-seeing and then returned to the Place de la Concorde for the ferris wheel ride. Costing ten euro per person, for three revolutions on the wheel, this was quite expensive. However, the views were wonderful. Paris by night is just as pretty as Paris by day!
A rest in a bar, a pint of beer later and we walked, well hobbled to the RER station at Notre Dame and made our way home for the night.
Paris Christmas markets- where to stay?
Paris is a wonderful city at any time of the year. Easy access from Camping Beau Village makes this a “MUST” for the motorhomer or caravanner. Our own review of Beau Village is available here.