TO SEE | MARKET
In the South of France, we don’t have much chance of a white Christmas. So to get into the Christmas spirit, I like to visit some festively decorated towns. Narbonne is one of my favourites. Every year, this charming Mediterranean town turns into a magical Christmas destination during “Les Féeries de Noël”. Get your self some mulled wine and put your ice skates on to get into the Christmas spirit.
Last Wednesday I promised my little girl I would take her ice skating in Narbonne. She absolutely loves ice skating! Also, we wanted to embrace Christmas in its full glory. So Narbonne was the place to go. First, we visited La Cour des Curiosités in the Cour de la Madeleine and Le Studio Magique in the Salle des Consuls in the Palais-Musée des Archevêques. Here, you will find all kinds of activities, such as a children’s farm, labyrinth and mechanical puppets. However, most French kids will be standing in line for a photo with a man dressed like Santa Claus, according to my girl. She didn’t buy it, although she still believes in Santa. And what about the real Santa? Well, he is in the North Pole of course!
When arriving at the Place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville, you are immediately surrounded by magic. Even the Palais des Archevêques is decorated! A huge illuminated princess dress embraces the joy of Christmas in all its glory. And when night falls, all the lights shimmer and shine even more. While we were there, a band started to sing Christmas carols and songs from Frozen. I don’t quite see how these songs go together, but looking at my happy girl singing along, it did add to the wonder of Christmas.
A fantastic ice rink right in the middle of Place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville adds to the Christmas fun. This means that you are actually ice skating on the Via Domitia, one of the oldest Roman roads in the world. I have never before skated on such a historic site. You can rent ice skates on the spot, and the kids are provided with a helmet. All this for only 3,50 euros an hour. Although a bit rusty in the beginning, we soon enough got the hang of it. We had a blast whirling around!
Tired but happy we went for a hot cocoa. With churros on the side. We found them at the Christmas market on the Cours de la République, where we also bought some grilled chestnuts to complete the feast! The Christmas market is rather small and not really worth the trip. However, added to all the other decorations and festivities, it is a good place to get something to nibble on.
All filled up, we were ready for the last part of the afternoon: the funfair at Cours Mirabeau. Well, my girl was raring to go. I’m not really into boisterous and flashy attractions. As we had already been ice skating, we’d had enough action for the day in my opinion. So we saved the big Ferris wheel for another time. Feeling Christmassy, we headed back home, loudly singing “Petit Papa Noël”.