Picture Post: Christmas Decorations In The South Of France

Yesterday I showed you the shops of Montpellier all dolled up for Christmas. Tonight, let’s take a walk around town and see what’s happening!

Montpellier Christmas

The picture above is the rue Ancien Courier, or the old mailman’s route. It has all kinds of wonderful shops, and at Christmas they take great pride in making it a winter wonderland! Here’s something amusing: That black store sign on the left is a women’s clothing shop, and it’s called “A Cause de Garcons” – “Because of Boys.” Ha!

Below is a picture of the Place de la Comedie back in 2005, I believe. (I took the picture, but can’t remember which year.) That building is the Opera, one of the town’s many landmarks.

Montpellier, France

Adorable, no? Well, this year they have decided to change it up:

Montpellier

I like the curtain-made-of-lights idea, but the multimedia thing they’ve got going in the upper windows is just distracting. And, the theme in town this year is blue and white. I prefer red, green and gold. But, that’s me.

You also might notice that there is no Christmas tree in the photo immediately above. Well, they’ve done away with it, two-fold. First, they replaced the live tree with what appears to be an aluminum one strung with lights to create the illusion of a tree. Second, they’ve moved it to the opposite end of the square, past the Christmas shopping village that’s been erected.

Montpellier

Brrrr. Could that be any more cold and sterile? I took the following picture to emphasize the creepiness of it:

Montpellier

That’s with the tree unlit. Because, you know, it blinks on and off. Like one of the most beautiful and historic squares in France were a used car lot.

Montpellier

Here’s a better picture of the vendor stalls. They are blue and white, with thatched roofs and a nautical theme. Now, we’re near the sea, but not ON it. Also, thatched roofs are a bit more South Pacific than we’re used to here.

Behind the huts is the Esplanade:

Montpellier

This picture actually looks OK, but I can’t tell you how ghetto it looks in real life. First of all, not all the trees down the walk are lit; it just kind of fizzles out after a few trees, and go on longer on one side than the other. Secondly, they lights are just cheap looking. In contrast, look at this picture, taken last year:

Esplanade

Now, I know that is during the day. But see those white vertical rods hanging in the trees? At night they lit up and did a whole kind of movement thing, like it was raining down icicles. I’m not sure where my writing skills have gone to today, but suffice it to say it was elegant and lovely.

Anyway. Enough bitching. Here is the rue de la Loge:

Montpellier

And Place Jean Juresse, where all the kids (read: people in their 20s) hang out at cafes:

Montpellier

And the Mignon (which means “cute”), where you can get all manner of yummy treats, from crepes to Sandwichs Americains (cheeseburger and fries in a baguette) until late at night:

Montpellier

It’s not decorated for Christmas, but I like this picture! Ha!

10 thoughts on “Picture Post: Christmas Decorations In The South Of France

  1. Christine-
    Your pictures are lovely! I love seeing other places than what I’m used to: Bloomfield, NJ, Yes, I, too, am a Jersey girl!

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  2. The cabins are based on the the local fishermans homes around the area, you can still see some round the Etangs near Palavas they have reed roofs.

    Missing my Montpellier Christmas! Love to you both Auntie Lou x x x

    • I miss you too!

      Given the way Montpel has an apparent aversion to the shoreline – as they say in New England, ya can’t get theyuh from heyuh – I hardly think they’re in a position to remind us non-drivers how tantalizingly close we are.

  3. I enjoyed reading about Christmas in Montpellier. I agree with you — I don’t like the blue! I went to school there way back in 1966 and miss the place still! Thanks for the memories.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s