Monday, 5 December 2016

Christmas markets in Arras | Blogmas Day 5

As I'm well and truly in the Christmas spirit, I've ensured to plan a few Christmas-y activities and days out before heading home for the holidays. Lille has a lovely, small Christmas market but for something bigger, we headed down to Arras - a small town about 40 minutes south of Lille. 

When we first got off the train in Arras (after a nightmare of a journey involving a 45 minute stop-over in Douai), there were about five carnival stalls with kids activities. We were beginning to wonder if the rumours we'd heard about it being one of the best markets in Europe were completely false. From the train station, the market is not well signposted at all, so we wandered around the town for around 45 minutes before finally stumbling upon their town square, where the festivities were held! The market was much bigger than the one in Lille and we spent a while just browsing all of the great stalls. I've noticed a similar theme in Lille; Christmas markets in France seem to be very French, rather than the general European markets I'm used to at home. There were products from all over Nord-Pas-de-Calais and the rest of France. It was fairly cold and I couldn't resist a homemade hot chocolate, whereas Lauren treated herself to a hot apple juice. 

After seeing every stall, we headed over to la grand roue, the ferris wheel. It feels wrong calling it a "grand" wheel because it's honestly tiny - it's less than half the size of the Lille equivalent! We went on the wheel regardless and I'm glad we did - the view of the square below us was lovely.

We then took the time to go on the kiddies equivalent of the big wheel - a spinning Christmas tree with large baubles to sit in. It didn't go high at all, yet Lauren still nearly managed to fall out when we were trying to get in (it was hilarious). After a wander round to where Santa's grotto is, we ended the afternoon/evening with ice-skating - something I love. It was so festive and the perfect end to a Christmas-y day. 

Already looking forward to going back and actually purchasing things at the market, this time with some of the galdem + Luke!

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