Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Stepping into Christmas at the Grenoble Christmas Market followed by a Sweeping Return to the Cote D'Azur!


First of all, I would like to apologize for the lack of creativity in my title this evening. I honestly couldn't think of anything else to call this post as this pretty much sums up what I am about to tell you about. Oh well! I will try very hard to make the next one more imaginative!

So first of all, I am going to start by telling you about my experiences at the Grenoble Christmas market as I know that it is something that people think of when referring to Grenoble. Having now been there myself I can tell you that it is a magical and unforgettable experience that will always stay with me. This is partly because this year is the first time in my whole life that I am not in the UK for the run up to Christmas. As I am used to the endless rows of Christmas cards, boxes of Celebrations and Roses, Christmas puddings, and Christmas decorations that take over the British supermarkets pretty much immediately after Halloween, I have been a little bit curious and concerned that all of these traditions that I have known for my whole life will be different this year. However, the minute I arrived at the Grenoble Christmas market I felt that I was back in the world of familiarity with the French culture coming through too which made it really special for me.

On Sunday, I set off for Grenoble city center just after lunch with my friend Amelie. When we arrived at Victor Hugo where the market is located, we were immediately greeted by the gorgeous spicy smell of Mulled Wine, Gingerbread, home made Tartiflette, crepes, and Christmas trees from the forest that forms the center of the market. This was very exciting for us as it was our first taste of Christmas this year so we walked around as many stalls as we could and treated ourselves to a Nutella crepe at the end which was very nice! We then met another friend at 4pm to go to the cinema to see the film 'Pride'. It was a very interesting film as it told the true story of the miners strike in the UK in 1985 and how one young man started a very successful group called 'Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners'. It was a very historical and inspiring film so I thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend it! Once we had finished in the cinema, we returned to the Christmas market to see it all lit up at night which was spectacular! I particularly liked the maze of glittering Christmas trees in the center and the beautiful christmas carols being played by a brass band in the background. We treated ourselves to some of the Tartiflette from one of the stalls as the smell was just too tempting for us! We also ate a little bit too much Candy Floss so half dragged ourselves onto the tram at the end as our stomachs were so full! But that is always a sign that it has been a good day in my opinion :)

Monday was another exciting day as I set off early in the morning to return to the starting point of my year abroad, La Cote D'Azur, to visit some of the people who I made friends with in the summer. I took the TGV to Cannes so it did not take too long in the end. It was lovely because I stayed with the people that I stayed with whilst I was there in the summer and it felt like I had never left! It was so lovely to see them again as we had a lot to catch up on and a lot of good memories from the summer to talk about. It was nice too because I could see that I have learnt a lot of French since being in Grenoble due to the fact that having a conversation was so much more natural than it was in July. That is a sign that I have gained a lot of language experience during my work placement in Grenoble!

Whilst I was on the Cote d'Azur, I went back to my favorite places in Cannes as well as visiting a small town called Grasse which is located between Cannes and Nice. I did not have time to visit Grasse in the summer so it was good to get the opportunity to go this time! It was very pretty!

Today was the day that I returned to work so it was back to reality. I had a lovely three days off and feel that I really made the most of them and did some very nice things so I am satisfied. Anyway, that is all I am going to write tonight as I am working tomorrow so must get some sleep. The next post will probably be about my trip to Paris and my 21st birthday in France but in the meantime, please take a look at the 'Photos-Grenoble/Rhone Alpes' page to see the photos of the Christmas market and the 'Extra Travelling' page to see photos of my time back on the Cote D'Azur. You will need to scroll down a bit on the 'Extra Travelling' page as the photos would not upload at the top for some reason.

I hope you enjoy looking through the photos and I will be back in about a weeks time to share more exciting adventures with you!

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