We all drove up to Toulouse today to collect our last visitor of the year, repeat offender Ben Dawson, fitting a Gascon break in before his December concertizing. As he arrived early in the evening I took him into the city for his first visit, happily coinciding with the beginning of the Marché de Noël in the main Capitole square. It’s ten years this month since I first visited France, and the Xmas markets in central Paris rank high amongst my first impressions.
The roadworks in central Toulouse have made it rather painful to visit over the last year, but now with so many more pedestrianized streets the benefits are clearer. Most of the ten minute walk to the Place du Capitole was under a canopy of lights as shown below.
The grid of marché stalls was heaving with Saturday night trade, and Munson’s presence meant that I was always the centre of a crowd within a crowd. While Gustav and Ben grabbed hot food and vin chaud for us, Munson and I moved through the market like a knot on a string, often with a handful of children hugging hard against Munson’s flanks. Winter seems to have earlier this year so we were grateful for the warmth of the crowds, but it still made me reluctant to remove hands from pocket to use the camera. However there wasn’t much to differentiate the scene from last year, so you can review those pictures here.