Old Europe… Good December 23, 2007Posted by gordonwatts in Marseille.
Marseille is either the 2nd or 3rd largest town in France (depending who you talk to) – it is a big town. But they seem to go out of their way to present you with goods and wares made by small home businesses. Take these cards, for example. While they are designed and printed locally, in Provence. Just like the USA, however, you won’t find them in a mall or a shopping center – unlike the USA, however, you will find them in the so-called Christmas market.
They do this in Marseille every year. All up and down the main drag, the La Canebiere. They set up lots and lots of small wooden huts (lots is about 50 or 60 of them). In one section they sell everything from Corsican sausages to these cards. Another section is devoted to Santons, which are basically little nativity figurines. Most of these wooden huts are not run by large chains but by small shops located around the region. I want to call it an arts-and-crafts fair – but it is professional rather than amateur.
To make it even better they sell hot spicy wine (vin chaud) and hot chocolate! 🙂 At any rate, it is definitely cool – and something I wish the US did more of.