We've been lucky for most of our past European Christmas Market excursions over the years to find that most exceed our expectations...but what about the ones that don't? Well, I hate to end the 2013 European Christmas Market tour on a bit of bummer, but Lyon, you're making me do it.
Just a few days before Christmas we decided to squeeze in just one more Christmas Market, and as we hadn't returned to Lyon in almost 2 years, it seemed as good a reason as any to make a day trip to the gastronomic capital of France. We researched online that they hold quite a large Christmas Market, and it seemed like a great way to round out the year.
We stopped for a quick "taco" (which was actually more like a rectangular burrito with potatoes inside) at "Starting Coffee," mostly because they had Wi-Fi and we needed to access a map online. The "taco" was surprisingly good, even if it wasn't actually a taco, and the gentleman behind the counter was very nice. We told him we were going to the Christmas Market, and he warned us against it. "It's not very good. People have been very disappointed. There is a better one across town."
We finished our "tacos" and decided to check the market out anyway, as we had made the trek to Lyon for that very reason. But oh was local wisdom ever correct. There was a tent with about 20 vendors, none selling anything Christmas related. Aside from a man selling some nice Jura wood toys (whom we bought a little car from), everything else fell along the lines of street market wares. In addition there was one vin chaud stand selling pretty horrible vin chaud, a few food stands, and a kind of petting area with farm animals and pony rides.
Yep. we drove an hour and half to see farm animals. Because we don't see enough cows, chickens, horses, goat and donkeys everyday.
(Who am I kidding, I can never see enough donkeys.)
The animals were the big attraction, and the three of us just kind of stood there looking at each other.
So this was the Lyon Christmas Market. A bit of a bust.
Truth be told, the market was apparently spread throughout the city in small clusters like this, however we trekked a large part of that city and came across no other segments of the market. No signs directing you to find it. No lights up to spot from far away. We literally searched high and low (Lyon has many steps), and we found nothing. Even our burrito place was closed. Lyon was against us that day.
We didn't let the non-market scenario get us too down though. Lyon is really fun to walk around, and quite the exercise. We went to a children's book shop and picked up a few last minute Christmas presents for Oswin, and wandered around a used book shop and found a copy of "Frankenstein" in French for a friend back home. It made my heart so happy to see how bustling the children's book shop was. Parents were literally elbowing each other to get to books, grabbing piles of books and carefully reading through them before making purchases. Two days before Christmas and the love of reading was still alive and well in France.
We walked around different parts of the city then we had two years ago, finding the main shopping area and plenty of festive lights...none of which were attached to a Christmas Market. Papa picked up some of Mama's favorite tea for Santa to put in her stocking, since Santa was pretty busy. Dan is such a good helper.
Oh Lyon, we love you so, but we will not be returning for your Christmas Market next year...wherever the rest of it was hiding.
A la prochaine friends...
Also, keep an eye out for Tuesday's post, as I'll be hosting my first giveaway! Exciting right? And hint hint, it rhymes with "Bakura Sloom." Wink wink!