Le sigh. You'd think that after almost five years this wouldn't be a surprise to us. How many times have we found that the TPG Y bus schedule is merely a "suggestion of time" for departure and arrival? Or that time Carrefour wouldn't let me in 20 minutes before closing (until I yelled "toilet papier!" at the security guard)? Or the fact that the one bar within a 2 mile radius of us is open in the morning but not the afternoon or evening. And how many times have we showed up to the St. Jean de Gonville Christmas market at the specified open time to find it closed...
...twice, the answer is twice.
That's not entirely true, but mostly true. Last year we walked on a very cold night to find out that our efforts were for naught, and they were closing up shop before the time listed online. We thought there was no way this could happen again...right?
We didn't get there incredibly early, Oswin's nap and lunch schedule wouldn't allow that. But we got there before 4:00 PM. The website for the city said that the market would be open from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Well surprise surprise, the whole market was packed up when we arrived, and looked like it had been for a little while...everything that is, except the buvette.
No surprise there.
So, we did what any self-respecting Christmas market goer would do: "deux vin chaud, si vous plait."
I was happy to find that we weren't the only people to show up to a closed market. About 20 or so more people showed up after us, all French, so I felt much better about having missed this Christmas market for the second year in a row.
I was also happy to see that upon finding the market closed, they also turned to vin chaud at the buvette. Maybe we fit in here better than I sometimes think...
The moral of the story here? As I mentioned in my European Christmas Guide, this market, and some of the smaller markets, are not ones to plan vacations or big trip around. They are small, locally run, and as a result, will sometimes change their posted schedule as they see fit. It was a shame that we missed this market again, despite our best efforts, but had we actually traveled to go to this market it would have been far more disappointing.
At the least the vin chaud was really good.
We're heading to Thoiry's Christmas Market shortly, and I'm hoping to find that it is indeed open and stock piled full of great little holiday goodies. Bon courage a nous!
A la prochaine friends...