Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday 14 December - Provins

The weather forecast was for sunny or misty  today but rainy for the rest of the week. This is the day that Provins has its Christmas market and medieval extravaganza so we decided to take the train. We found out that the 0946 from Gare de l'Est does not run Sundays and the 1046 was very much overcrowded being a short train.  The platform was only announced about ten minutes before departure and it seems the toilets are all locked out of service so they don't have to be maintained.  Once again SNCF does not give a damn about its passengers.  I have yet to find a fully functioning toilet on a train this trip.
The train was very full and many had to stand for over an hour. Many were in medieval costume. We ran through dense fog until just before Longueville when the sun broke through and stayed that way all the time we were at Provins. On the platform at Provins a couple of hunting horns were sounded and we followed the horns up to the hill top where the market is held. Many, including kids, were in medieval dress, suits of armour, leather or wool covers. Medieval instruments were being played and there were impromptu processions.
The weather was excellent with full sun - it seems the mist did not clear fully in Paris. We had mulled wine and hot chestnuts and then made our way slowly to the station where our train was a long one with just a handful of passengers.  SNCF managed to get everything wrong. On the way back from Gare de l'Est we stopped off at Sacr√© Coeur and Place des Abbesses.
The roast chestnuts were pretty much carbonized

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