Back from Christmas!

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……I looked at my watch and it was 5 minutes to 4:30pm. I stood up and went to the kitchen to grab the Kaya that I made. I left the office sharp at 4:30pm to make my way to the nearest Underground station to meet up Arnaud, then to King’s Cross where the Eurostar is now based. It was quicker than we thought it would take us to get to the station. In fact, we were more than 1 hour early. It was gonne be tight schedule, there’s no way to miss the connecting train to Caen, we prayed.

To our disappointment, Eurostar did it again. Stopped just 10-15 minutes before arriving at Gare du Nord. What happened?? Apparently, the station was too busy and there was no platform available! We had no choice but to wait patiently. I kept looking at my watch, 5 minutes passed by, another 10 minnutes passed by… I wasn’t optimistic at all as we had only 30 minutes after arrival to make our way to Gare St Lazare.

Finally, we had to face the fact that we missed the train. All the cars were all booked for the next few days, so, there wasn’t any options left to get to the destination on that night! We had to put up in a nearby hotel. Bug! It was an unexpected short stay in Paris!

We were so hungry that we could almost faint! In the city like Paris, I bet there’s no chance to suffer from hunger as restaurants and brasseries are everywhere. There were a few just down the road. We walked past a few and finally decided to go into one of the brasseries. It didn’t take long to scan through the menu, we both opted for the Specialties of the brasseries. I ordered Bouillabaisse and for Arnaud it was Tagliatelle with smoked Salmon & Crayfish! Yum… they were good!

We strolled back to the hotel and were both too tired by now. Time to hit the sack.

Another start for the next day. Finally, we made sure we were on the train to our destination, no more time to waste! It was a mere 2 hours journey. All I could remember was I slept through the journey. Yes, I was that tired!

The moment I stepped out from the train, I could feel the chill down to my spine! Aww, it was so cold!

It was nearly time for lunch when we reached. A homemade food was ready on the table to welcome us. I feel that I am always spoilt with good food. There are always new surprises on the table that makes me say ‘wow’! My stay is always pleasant and comfortable in Caen. There are shops that I will not miss whenever I visit Caen.

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Christmas Eve arrived without much of my notice. I thought I just reached this lovely place yesterday! I always thought Christmas dinner was very much associated with Turkey, well the traditional way I suppose. Our Christmas dinner was full of seafood, and more seafood. Ah, I had Escargots by the way. A lot of people dislike this, but I think it’s such a typical French dish that you should probably try once (for the lifetime) even if you are not an Escargots eater! There was only one meat dish. Well, Foie Gras is never a miss during this day. Not to mention a good selection of cheeses! It never ends without la buche de Noël too!

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As soon as it was 00:00, everyone gathered by the table and started to open the presents. This was the most exciting moment I would say. However, we knew what we were getting anyway! So, there won’t be a case where we end up disliking our presents 🙂

It was another early morning the next day as we had to leave for Le Mans. Le Mans is the place where it’s famous for its Rillettes and 24 heures du Mans. This time, I tried Cherry & Duck Pâté, with traditional raisins bread, what could I say but excellent combination! Another of my favourite is saucisson à l’ail. If you are also a fan of Charcuterie, you’ll know what I’m talking about!

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Another Christmas dinner with more food. It was really a feast! We really enjoyed every moment of it – more champagne, more wine, more oysters, salmon, foie gras… etc.

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Overall, our stay in France was another great one even though it was too short. So much to remember and looking back all the photos makes me feel like I was there again. Now that Christmas is over, what’s next? Well, it’s to welcome year 2008. I believe there are many more to come in the upcoming years.