22 December 2013

Metz Nöel - Saturday

We were up about 0530 on Saturday and checked in at the Shuttle less than an hour later. It was alternating between drizzle and proper cold rain. The temp gauge in the CC showed about 8°C!

We were lucky for once and were loaded onto the back of the earlier train and at 0721 set off for France.

The route options provided by TomTom were a dogleg south and east in France via Reims or a more straight line route through Belgium and Luxembourg. I chose the second as it meant avoiding France's toll motorways. "Plucky" Belgium has free motorways. TomTom said both were a similar time and distance.

By the time we had arrived at the A25 to Lille it had dried up and we didn't see any rain again that day.

Luxembourg has the cheapest petrol in western Europe at €1.28 a litre, and that is rip-off motorway prices. Hence the long queues at all the pumps. In both France and Belgium it was more like €1.55 and up for 95 unleaded. No sign of the creeping poison that is E10 ethanol added fuel.

We arrived in Metz and TomTom took us straight to the door and into the car-park under the Place de Gaulle in front of the main station.

We checked in and set off for our first excursion the mile or so to the first market location in Place St Louis. First order of the day was to buy something for late lunch; two bratwurst and rolls. We checked out the stalls and bought some chocolate in a slab before Claire had a second hot wine and I had a Grimbergen Bière de Nöel.

Then it was back to the hotel for a siesta until 1930 when we set off again to visit all four market locations.  More purchases included artisan sausages!

Dinner was Pôellée de Noel, spicy pork in half a large roll with a token gesture salad at the bottom of a fragment of lettuce and a bit of tomato.

We found location 3, the Place St Jacques and the Christmas Shop. Baby Jesus for the nativity for €2 or with attached manger for €4?

We then found location 4 with the large coloured wheel and had dessert of a crèpe for me and a gauffre for Claire.

We then found 2. It was in the middle of the shopping centre and as it was Santa's Grotto it was closed.

Then to bed. Worn out after long day and too much food!!

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