Monday 25 December 2017

Madhouse diaries : More festive fun !

We only broke up on Friday so we haven't had that much time for festive fun this year, but looking back through my photos, we've still managed to fit in a few trips out, starting off with our own local Christmas market here in Dunkirk. It's quite small but it's nice and Christmassy, with scents of toasted chestnuts, mulled wine and chocolate and cream laden waffles competing with those of the stinky cheeses and cured sausages sold by local producers ! The kids opted for a beignet, which is like a big doughnut that you slice open and fill with your choice of apple sauce, Nutella or strawberry jam. Sophie couldn't decide so the stall-owner gave her one half smeared in Nutella and the other in apple sauce !

We also headed to Bruges, which is about an hour away, for their fabulous Christmas market. It was a suitably cold day and as the twilight started drawing in, we could see all the fairy lights festooning the iconic buildings.

Whether small restaurants or big historic monuments, they all go to town and get into the festive spirit. We were particularly lucky to stumble across the Christmas Nativity Parade, the Sterrenstoet.

Bruges is atmospheric at any time of the year, with its canals and bridges reminiscent of Venice, but the Christmas lights really set it off.

 Back in Dunkirk, the kids have certainly been making the most of the free ice skating rink installed in the town centre, around the statue of Jean Bart.

 They spent about an hour skating around (or being pushed around for Pierre, who felt just too wobbly on his skates!) and Sophie has called in with her friends on the way home from school most nights this week too.

 Sometimes we go out looking for adventures and sometimes the adventures come to us ! Father Christmas and chums arrived on the little town square just around the corner from where we live, so we popped across to join in the fun and make the most of the free hot chocolate, apple juice and sweets on offer ! Look out Father Christmas, it's behind you !

We couldn't help giggling at the jugglers because they needed more practice and kept smacking themselves or each other in the head with their clubs !

There was music and laughter, courtesy of a brass band dressed up as magicians.

 And Mrs Claus busted her magic moves while Santa handed out sweets.

 As darkness fell, he abseiled down the clock tower. I didn't film it this year but here's my video from a couple of years ago.

So this is how he gets down the chimneys !

Just time for one more Christmas market, in Brest.

Despite being in Brittany, Sophie tucked into a bretzel from Alsace.

Happy Christmas everyone !

Country Kids


  1. You've managed to squeeze so much into your holiday, I'm impressed. It's great that you got to see Santa so close to home and even got to watch him abseil down the clock tower. Beignet sound delicious, how lucky that Sophie got to have half and half for her filling!

    Thanks for sharing the fun with me on #CountryKids.

    1. It's always a bit full-on but it's nice to create memories and have lots of events and days out to look back on !

  2. Wow look at all the Christmas!! Free ice skating rink! That's pretty cool. What a fab holiday #countrykids

  3. These photos get me excited for Christmas


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