Christmas Market on steroids

We have been reading about the Marches de Noel…the French Christmas markets, and been dying to see one.
Our mental picture was of a quaint collection of stalls hosting hand-made goodies from local artisans…but we opted to walk across town to the largest one, which starts at the Place de Concorde and runs up both sides of the Champs Élysées to the Arc de Triumph. A conservative estimate puts this at 2 miles of stalls, all brightly lit and stuffed with all kinds of things, and crowded to the breaking point with people.
Wooden toys and lovely local wares, to be sure, but also iPhones, sneakers, blankets, you name it. It felt like a combination county fair, farmer’s market, and street fair. There were pony rides, carnival rides and games, wine and beer booths, and street musicians. After eating entirely too much and walking our feet off, we hailed a cab back to the Marais, had a good night glass of wine and calvados, and retired to the apartment, where Harold had wisely remained, to heal up for morning.

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