Three places in three nights, a Christmas market, and counting down to Christmas

Le temple Saint Martin in the heart of Montbéliard

I called it a crazy road trip.  After all, we’re talking 3 stops in one weekend.  How often does that happen?

First stop:  Coustellet (Thursday night).

Things should feel like they’re winding down for the end of the year.  They should feel that way but they don’t…at least, not yet.  For D and me, it was a mad rush this past weekend. 

First, we rushed to pick up our rental car.  Oh, we had planned on leaving home at a certain hour but you know what happens to best laid plans, right?  We did make it to the car rental place before it closed but, after my marathon walking session the day before, my feet were screaming in pain.

We arrived in Coustellet 2.5 hours later and had a late-ish dinner with les parents.  At this point, we still weren’t sure whether we would be heading north to Montbéliard the next morning.  D had been watching the weather reports and checking the road conditions online but still he wasn’t sure.  We had to pass through Lyon and the Rhône valley and as more snow was expected we didn’t know what would meet us when we arrived there.

We woke on Friday morning and watched the news while eating breakfast.  D decided we would go but if the roads were as bad as they were reporting we would turn back.

Second stop: Montbéliard (Friday)

So, we didn’t turn back and we went to the marché de Noël in Montbéliard.  (The highway was clear for the most part and it snowed for 5 seconds.  Slight exaggeration but I think you understand.)

Local cheeses: cancoillotte, Mont d'Or, and Morbier

Things at the marché were just getting started when we arrived in Montbéliard and it was, for lack of a better word, dead.  The time of day was to blame as were to weather reports and the caution sent out to drivers.  People elected to stay home.

Happiness is also a huge poêle full of potatoes and saucisse!

Those who did visit the marché (things did eventually pick up) were greeted with vendors selling jewelry and knit-wear but also local meats and cheeses.  My favourite treat that night: potatoes and saucisse de Montbéliard covered with cancoillote.  C’est trop bon (it’s too good)We did also sample some yummy chocolate, we indulged in waffles covered in Nutella (heaven), and threw back a cup of hot cider.

Warm cancoillote, saucisse de Montbéliard, and potatoes as a snack

After indulging in a lot of what the marché had to offer and then being treated like royalty by D’s uncle and aunt, is it any wonder that I was wide awake at 4 am?

Third stop: Coustellet…again! (Saturday)

Snow in Franche-Comté

We left Montbéliard after a yummy brekkie of coffee, tartines, and lou toutché (a typical Franche-Comté cake).  The drive was uneventful and we arrived in Coustellet and had tea and cake with les parents although D and I felt like taking a nap.  We felt totally jet lagged and did our best not to pass out on the sofa.  After dinner and conversation it was (thankfully) time for bed.

We woke Sunday morning to the sound of rain.  Over coffee and tartines with la mamie’s home-made jam, we discussed the plans for the next two weeks.  The day was a quiet one with the highlight being la mamie’s choucrote garnie and a lovely Riesling from Alsace.

After dinner, D and I packed up and loaded the car for the drive home.

Nice, it appears, is also in full swing for Christmas.  While D is away this week — he’s off to Paris tomorrow — I plan on heading downtown to check things out.  I also have some Christmas shopping to do and now is a good time to get it done.  As we plan on leaving Nice on the 17th we have decided to do away with Christmas decorations.  (Yes, it’s a sorry state of affairs when Christmas rolls around and you haven’t decorated your home.)  But, my excitement for the holidays is still there.  Yes, I have started my Christmas countdown: 19 days to go!

And you?  Have you started your Christmas countdown?

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Categories: road trip

Author:Tanya in Transition

I am a woman in transition. I left my job of 13 years to find happiness and France!

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6 Comments on “Three places in three nights, a Christmas market, and counting down to Christmas”

  1. Tuula
    December 7, 2010 at 5:33 PM #

    Really nice post Tanya…and love that photo of you, too cute with the hat 🙂
    Yum yum yum….the market & food look so fun. Um, especially with the potatoes & sausisse that I’d go crazy for too. Seems one of the best things about these markets is (surprise surprise) the food!

    Enjoy your stroll around Nice & hope you get to see some nice Christmas lights…we have bunch set up here already & really feels like the season, bon shopping!

    • December 7, 2010 at 7:28 PM #

      Thank you! 🙂
      I know. Food is just so much fun and I tell you, I can’t say enough about the cheese-potato-saucisse combo. It’s insane!
      Safe travels and have a wonderful Christmas!

  2. December 10, 2010 at 12:53 PM #

    I’m with Tuula, your hat is tres mignon! And that snack your eating sounds delicious!
    Hope you’re enjoying the Christmas season so far! 🙂

    • December 12, 2010 at 7:58 PM #

      LOL, thanks Sara Louise!
      I love Christmas so yes, I’m totally enjoying it. I’m not looking forward to the prospect of sub-zero temperatures in Toronto though! 🙂 Same to you. I gather you’ll be in Ireland for the holidays. Enjoy the trip!

  3. Oneika the Traveller
    December 15, 2010 at 3:47 AM #

    Looks like so much fun!!!!

    • December 15, 2010 at 10:31 PM #

      It was and we could have gone crazy with the food. Mmm, I can still taste the cheese and potatoes and saucisse. Delish!

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