Saturday, December 8, 2012

It's bloody cold here

After several weeks of balmy high teens temperatures (say 60-65˚F), winter has finally caught up with Provence.

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We had snow today!

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Of course we have our fingers crossed for a White Christmas.

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The Aix-en-Provence Christmas Markets have been open for a few weeks now.

Christmas lights along the Cours Mirabeau in Aix-en-Provence

This is our fourth Christmas here and I still can't get enough of this tradition.

But before we toured the markets we attended a Christmas Carols concert (in English) at the St Sauveur Cathedral. There were adult and children's choirs complete with ringing bells and candles for the audience.

Christmas carols in the St Sauveur Cathedral in Aix-en-Provence

The highlights for me were singing The Twelve Days of Christmas (everyone really gets into that one) and the 3 year old asking his father when we would be singing Gangnam Style. Hmm.

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After the carols we enjoyed the magic of the markets.

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The lights:

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The stalls:

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This stall smells divine - ribbon-woven lavender

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The book markets happened to be on at the same time (in the Hôtel de Ville square)

The Santon display:

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(And buying a few more to round out my own collection)

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The kiddie rides:

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And of course the mulled wine and roasted chestnuts.

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The Rotonde Fountain at one end of the Cours Mirabeau looks stunning in lights:

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The shopping strip doesn't look too shabby either:

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Speaking of shopping, how's yours going?

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I need to get into gear. I've sent the Christmas cards and my handmade gifts are coming along well, but the shopping...not so much. There's still plenty of time, right?

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend (perhaps with some Christmas shopping)!

24 comments:

  1. Hee hee, the Gangnam Style Carol, love it! We got snow last Monday and have had rain and ice since, the pavements are treacherous, you seem to have got it much better!

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  2. Love to see the places we visited in summer in this Christmas mood through your camera!

    Here it is snowing and pretty cold, -8°C ...brrr. I have just bought one single Christmaspresent yet (procrastinate now-panic later) but my handmade stuff is coming along well too.

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  3. Thanks for your beautiful pictures! Almost made me feel cooler despite the 27 we have here at 10am this morning!

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  4. Too hot here today for shopping...might do some stitching instead! You have outdone yourself this time with the photos Kirsty!! They are truly magical! I wish I was there.....

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  5. These photos took my breath away. Gangnam style that's pretty funny in a Christmas carols in church

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  6. I can totally see how you would never get tired of enjoying these amazing garlands of lights and the fascinating displays of the Christmas markets!

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  7. Serious envy in this household :(
    And hey...you might have gangnam...we had the macarena with one of our kids...you were probably a kid in 1994 too!
    Lurve the Lavender. CWA ladies used to make those in the 60's and it seems to have been lost.
    Happy Xmas build-up to you and yours!

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  8. STUNNING PICTURES as per usual... Being from Texas (and you from Australia) there is such magic in a white Christmas right??!?! I am loving the snow... so far ;) AND we are headed to our first Marche de Noel this afternoon :) I can't wait!!! Glad your holiday season has started off with a bang!

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  9. Thats a wonderful post Kirsty..... i love all the lovely x-mas lights....you have made a great serie.

    Wish you a nice weekend

    Greetings, Joop

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  10. I do agree with the title :-)
    I made the same pictures of the lights. I confirm yours are exceptional :-)

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  11. I didn't hear what you said about shopping, okay! (Shopping, what shopping? How many days is it until Christmas?)

    The markets look glorious, as does the carol service ... the French do Christmas properly don't they :)

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  12. What? No Gangnam Style carol? Duped!
    It's nice and warm here!!!
    I'm la la la ing and putting my hands over my ears when anyone mentions Christmas shopping. I tried to do some when on hols but didn't get very far.

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  13. i hate to say this (cos I LOVE where i live) but christmas looks so much more special in France than here in Australia. It's clearly all the nocturnal activities and sparkly lights. It just looks magical. Thanks for such beautiful photos.

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    1. It's hard to be nocturnal at home though, being summer and daylight savings. But I will agree, there is something magical about it being cold at Christmastime. Just like they sing in all the carols!

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  14. I'm still a bit confused how we went from barely sweater weather to it being mother trucking freezing almost overnight. x.

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  15. Such beautiful pics! I really love Christmas Markets, too. I'll have to try visit the one in Helsinki this year! I'm feel I'm really behind on EVERYTHING ... shopping and making ... Well, we'll see ...

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  16. The snow scuppered my Christmas shopping in Paris plans so I am no further forward. We do have a tree though with almost as many lights as the Cours Mirabeau. You always make Aix look magical!

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  17. I've been really lazy and done all of my Christmas shopping online this year! A bit more expensive and I missed out on the buzz of the Christmas shopping mall, but soooo much easier! Am v impressed by your handmade gifts though. Please post pics when they're done!

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  18. You've got almost as many lights as Vegas (but we shifted to LEDs here)

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  19. Love your pics as usual. However, the Gangnam carol is my favourite part of this post.

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  20. Oh my goodness, how beautiful, we were in Paris in september for the first time and it was just beautiful, such a pretty city, I cant imagine how beautiful France must be at Christmas - enjoy from Australia - xxBrenda

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  21. Thanks Brenda. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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  22. Hi! I have, rather belatedly, discovered your blog. I have just loved it & have delved back into your tales. Thank you so much for sharing your adventure (the stitching is pretty cool too). Come home Australia misses you! Wait . . . stay in France . . . your posts are so enjoyable. Wishing you a safe return to Oz & a new adventure resettling with your loved ones. Regards, Deb at CV.

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