Sunday, December 5, 2010

It's The Most Slippery Time of the Year...

It snowed in Dijon.

I'm from tropical, sunny Miami, FL.

Just let that sink in for a moment...

"OMG, they killed Barbara!"

Imagine this little Miami girl's excitement when she gazing upon a landscape carpeted by a pristine layer of plush, white snow in her neighborhood! She just had to brave it out and explore...

View from bedroom window early Saturday morning

For those of you who are pretty much barricaded by snow for nearly 6 months of the year, I must stress that Dijon rarely has snow. But when it snows.

Compare my current bedroom view to the Sunday a week ago, the one just after Thanksgiving...

Anyway, continuing with the winterwonderland adventure...

Yesterday was December 4th, a.k.a., St. Barbara Day. The French, holding on to their Catholic traditions, make a point of wishing you "Bonne FĂȘte!" if it happens to be your saint's day. It's not really a big deal. This sign was seen just outside my florist's shop.

As I walk down a boulevard, I get to see the tower that is on a little hill. I sometimes climb on top so I could have better views of the Centre Ville.

The at the end of the boulevard, you come across a roundabout called Place du 30 Octobre. I've remarked that the French love to vent their vehicular frustrations by perilously careening at full speed and battling with the other drivers to see who escapes the circle first; it can be quite frightening if you are in the passenger's side...

After 15 minutes or so, I finally arrive to the Centre Ville's Christmas Village!

Or, to put it more accurately: the plaza in front of Palais des Ducs (Place de la Libération) essentially transforms into a bumpy skating rink where you must walk ever so gingerly, never lifting your eyes off the ground. This is, of course, to prevent the rather sudden drop of embarrassment that is slipping on ice. Walking around Dijon, I have become more cautious with every single step I take. One false move and I could soon find myself either brusquely kissing the snow or giving the sidewalk a high five with my behind.

Regardless of the winter dangers, distractions come in all forms at Dijon's Christmas Village! There are white ornately decorated Christmas trees.

Wooden gabled-roof kiosks with vendors welcoming people to do their Christmas shopping and vin chaud drinking (or cheese-buying).

There is even a ride for the kiddies!

(The caboose on "The Little Enchanted Train" was, ironically enough, from Miami Beach.)

I also learned the painfully hard way that my cute $30 boots from Target were utterly useless for frolicking in the snow. Water seeped in through the leather barrier and soaked my socks! I had blocks of ice for feet and by the time I got home, I had to defrost them and place my socks out to dry on my room's radiator. I also had to dig out my rather untrendy, but thankfully waterproof, black boots from last year.

I may be freezing in the glacial temperatures outside, but I'm still better off than these glass sculptures that were seen chilling out in Dijon's Christmas Village!

(Yes. This is indeed a snail ice sculpture. I would not expect anything less here in escargot-infested Bourgogne.)

At night, you can see Dijon's lights all over the Centre Ville!

I honestly can't believe it's December once again. 2010 has really flown past me...and soon I shall greet another year!

In the meantime, I need to focus on my Christmas shopping and vin chaud drinking!

Barb the French Bean


  1. I'll trade. I'll go to Miami and you can come here to Minnesota. I promise you'll get to see LOTS of snow. And 30-below-zero windchills. :)

  2. I'm trying to catch up a bit on my reading. I just love those pictures. I wish I could be there.

    BTW, as an ex-western NYer, knit yourself some nice warm wool socks. You'll be glad you did.


Apparently, leaving comments on this blog is a hit-or-miss game of Russian roulette: you are either lucky and can comment away, or you are required to log in when the settings are CLEARLY set to allow trouble-free commenting (sorry 'bout that, folks). If anything, the Facebook page is always a viable option. :) -Barb