Archive of ‘France’ category

Strasbourg Christmas market adventure 2017

The Strasbourg Christmas market is one of the oldest and largest Christmas markets in France. Old Town becomes pedestrian only, shops and hotels decorate their facades and little wooden huts popup everywhere selling regional good and treats. The streets are filled with joyful people drinking hot wines. We were so excited to meet our friends from Luxembourg on the Sunday for drinks, shopping and carousel rides. 

We are here for the Strasbourg Christmas Market in France.

A few years back my Canadian friend Janna who lived in London told me about her yearly tradition of visiting a new European Christmas market. She and her boyfriend have travelled from Norway to Slovakia exploring these magical markets and with every one of their Facebook posts my jealousy grew. Inspired by my friends, Matt and I are starting off our Christmas season with a triple Christmas Market attack plan (we have some catching up to do). Step one, the famous Strasbourg Christmas Market. Step two, Baden-Baden Market spanning the grounds of the famous casino (November 27-28). Step three, Sofia’s German/Bulgarian Christmas Market where we will celebrate my birthday (35…seriously getting old!). These are photos taken with my phone in Strasbourg.

Shops, hotels and apartments decorate their facades with Christmas decorations which gives the whole town a storybook atmosphere. 

It’s been raining on and off. People bundle up…some even look like “boules mousse”.

The most amazing tree.

The tree matches my jacket. 

Hot red or white wines, hot apple juice and hot orange juice.

Gex, France. The cutest little town in the French alps.

Only 20 km from Geneva, Gex is an adorable tiny town in the Franch mountains.

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Our awesome apartment had a balcony and full kitchen.

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Oh, and horse neighbours.

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The horse in the back stuck his tongue out for the photo.

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Cool.

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I love pink!

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This pub was AMAZING! We went everyday for little wines.

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Affordable little wines.

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So much cheese.

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Scallops with a mustard crème fraiche sauce.

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Horse steak, grassy greens and carrots, a natural pairing.

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Having fun in Carcassonne!

Carcassonne has been amazing so far. The city has so much to do and see; there’s a castle on top of the hill, a fresh food market in the city square (40 meters from our apartment) 3 times a week selling great local goodies and there’s the Canal du Midi for boating, picnicking and general relaxation.

 

Mom’s not a big fan of “le selfie”.

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This couple dressed up for the occasion. (The “knight” is on the bridge).

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View from inside the medieval castle.

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Champagne? Why not!

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Ok, I’m not going to lie, there has been SOME drinking going on. This is “le liter of lunch wine”.

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The weather has been unseasonably windy and chilly.

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L’Oeil le resto cooks all their meat and potatoes on a wood burning oven in the center of the open concept restaurant. 

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Smart.

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Yes, that is 1.5 kilograms of big steak, small steak, tenderloin, sausage and duck breast…the baked potato is swimming in fresh cream and chives.

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I was the only one to finish my plate. The big burly women who worked there were very impressed.

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And the highlight of 2016, the lunch boat ride on the Canal du Midi!

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We drank local Rose, ate yummy food and enjoyed the scenery.

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WHAT!!!!!! I got to drive the boat!!! I jokingly asked if I could drive and next thing you know I was in control of the wheel. Apparently I did a fine job, the captain let me steer for over 10 minutes while he sipped his coffee and told me stories about the surrounding area. I have a new calling, I’m becoming a boat captain (just as long as it doesn’t go faster than 6 kilometers an hour)!   

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Saturday market. As today is our last full day in Carcassonne we wanted to celebrate by eating all the local produce available at the market. Steak tartare, cheeses, salads, asparagus, olives and macaron with fresh strawberries and cheese cake are on tonight’s menu.

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A few photos of Toulouse (sorry for the time stamps).

 

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Fantastic seafood dinner made with all the goodies we picked up at the Victor Hugo market.

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MY MOM!!! The funniest storyteller in the world…especially after a few wines.

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Yakitori lunch next door.

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Huge rodeo downtown. All the French people were line dancing in the rain.

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Snacks while we wait for the rain to stop.

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Sunday at Victor Hugo market.

Sunday in Toulouse, everyone is at the market drinking wine, slurping on fresh oysters and chomping on great breads topped with meats and cheese.

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Yes, France!

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Obviously we bought one of each at this stall.

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A quick 7.5 hour train ride to Toulouse.

Mom was very excited as it was her first time on a train…well, except for all those other times she’s been on a train.

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Eddie?

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Pre-train croissants.

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Gare Austerlitz.

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Our cool apartment in central Toulouse.

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Bachelor party.

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I wanted to talk shop about marriage.

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My lovely drinking buddies.

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