So instead of working on one of the many things I have to do right now, I thought I’d put on Michael Bublé’s Christmas album and write about my weekend at the Strasbourg Christmas Market.
Ever since coming to France I’d always hoped that I’d be able to visit the Strasbourg Christmas Market. I had heard that it is the best one in France! So, being the Christmas-mad basic b..girl that I am – I had to go!
Unfortunately, neither the extortionate train prices nor the idea of a painfully long coach journey were making my dream of being in the best Christmas market in France a reality..
Santa Claus came early this year in the form of InteGre – the society for foreign students at uni – with a 2 day trip to Strasbourg for 50€! (I’m sorry if that was a cringy sentence to read – blame Bublé, not me!)
So, a group of about 12 of us got on the coach ready for it to leave at 6 AM. Of course, we didn’t end up leaving until gone 7 because… France.
(All Erasmus students in France will have self-consciously given the word ‘France’ another meaning: it is now also an adjective which describes how things normally don’t go exactly as planned, with some form of aggravation along the way – a notion that is very much accepted)
After the surprisingly fast 7 hour coach journey, we arrived in a damp Strasbourg, where the InteGre organizer tried to sort all 120 of us into small groups to be guided around Strasbourg by some of their volunteers. We were initially, unhappy with this arrangement and pulled a tantrum – stating (ironically) that we were adults and could guide ourselves around the city. However, this tantrum wasn’t getting us anywhere so we gave in.. and it actually worked out really well. Luckily, the volunteer that me and my friends were put with was very chilled and he took us to the markets and gave us a set amount of time to be there until we moved on to the next one (I didn’t realize this before but the city was full of several mini markets). This way, we got to spend the appropriate time in each mini market and was able to see it all!
By 15:30, we were beginning to wander around the markets. One of the most beautiful sights I saw at the market was the first sign for ‘vin chaud’ (mulled wine). Oh the mulled wine. It was lovely. So lovely that -after a solid 7 hours of drinking it the day before- the smell of it on the Sunday was still divine – random, but you know that that’s a rare occasion!
In terms of the stalls, they went from christmas tree decorations to delicious German foods to European biscuit stalls; the biscuits were usually a rip off but if you stand at the stall for long enough looking interested in them, the server would (sometimes) give you a free taste. And then of course, there were the several mulled wine stalls in every market.
It isn’t an accident that 3/4 of the stalls I have mentioned are food or drink related – that was what I spent all my money on (excluding a tree dec and a fridge magnet).
The Sunday was basically a sober repeat of Saturday, which I think I slightly preferred because we got to appreciate things at the markets more. I wish I took a photo of my lunch because I had this amazing German tartiflette which was everything you could ever want after a night of wine: German cheese; bacon; cream; potatoes; what tasted like white wine sauce.. it was heavenly!
Then we left at around 14:00 and got back at around 23:30. It was a very full weekend but it was wonderful! I’d definitely recommend InteGre to anyone going to Grenoble, or to anyone going to another uni, to find a similar society!
Other than my weekend away, nothing else excting has happened recently. The past week flew and was basically full of procrastination… since the work I’m doing doesn’t count for much, I’m can’t seem to push myself to work particularly hard for it – I know that’s silly, it’s a weird frame of mind to be in. I’m sure I’ll get work done this week.. fingers crossed!
On a lighter note, here are some photos from Strasbourg:
À bientôt, j’espère x