Saturday, November 15, 2014

Walking down 'Le Marché de Noël des Champs-Elysées'

Its getting colder and the heavy breeze has been making us aware that the winter is about to arrive. Christmas is in the air and we were assured of it when while our usual aimless scrolling on the internet we came to know that the Christmas market on Champs Elysees has opened its doors, rather the kiosks from yesterday (14th November, 2014). So could not resist the chance of taking a stroll there early in the season. By the time we reached the Christmas market the kiosks were lit and Champs Elysees as usual was buzzing with life. After walking for 5 minutes we started to feel the chill and we tried walking on the subway vents, which sometimes help to warm oneself up. However Mitra proposed a better idea to warm us up and that was buying a glass of hot wine. From our previous experiences we knew that the right place to buy it is from a kiosk which is solely dedicated to hot wine. The hot wine comes in three sizes- small, medium and large and is priced at 4€, 6€, 8€ respectively. A medium glass of hot wine was good enough for today but we know as the winter starts to set in we may need a lot more of it. With the crowd and the rush one must be careful while wavering around with the glass of precious liquid which not to mention Mitra wasn't and thus spilled quite a portion of it.  

Well now lets come to the kiosks which has more interesting things to offer than Mitra's bumping into someone and spilling hot wine or trying to catch a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower which along Champs Elysees plays peek-a-boo from behind the Haussmannian facades. To start with we came came across kiosks selling Christmas decorations with interesting things like Santa climbing up a rope or him riding a Ferrari (a model to let you be sure). We also liked some Russian themed kiosks which sold mainly Russian nesting dolls (Poupée russe in French). We saw some interesting looking dolls and even one with Vladimir Putin engraved on the outer one (wonder what the ones inside had on them). 

The most common kiosks were of course the one selling food from sausages, the most popular french fries and hot dogs to churros, crepes, waffles and fruits dipped in hot chocolates. The close second to the type of kiosks were the ones selling winter wear with Eiffel themed bonnets, ear warmers with Santa smiling on it, colored scarfs and really comfortable gloves. Deep into the winter in case you are not well prepared these can really save you from freezing though the price may seem a bit high. There were also some tempting jewelry and if I had not maintained a good amount of self-constraint I would have ended up with bracelets from wrists to shoulders. However for us the title of the most interesting kiosk that we saw today goes to the one dedicated to dessert sauce design. They even gave demos of how to draw patterns on dessert plates with fruit coulis, yogurt, chocolate sauce and caramel. And of course I did not have the least idea before today that they have different brushes and funnels for different stokes of the master pieces. 

At the end (or the start if you take it that way) of Champs Elysees and the Christmas market at Place de la Concorde is the grand wheel of Paris (Roue de Paris). It has been quite some time (4 years now) that we have been planning to ride the wheel to have an aerial view of Paris and the Champs Elysees looking towards La Defence. Well we have till 4th January this season to try it and if not then 'We will always have Paris' and next year and the Christmas Market to ride the wheel of Paris.   

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