Monday, December 28, 2009

Metz Comes Back to Life

Now that the Christmas weekend is over, most everyone who was absent in the past few days is now out promenading on the streets. Their purpose is not to shop Boxing Day sales, because France doesn't have this tradition. Indeed, stores are closed on December 26. France's official winter sale does not begin until Wednesday, January 6 at 8 a.m.; it ends Tuesday, February 9 at midnight.

It is clear that the residents of Metz (the Messins) overwhelmingly favor black winter outerwear. Some 80 to 90 percent of the people in the crowds on the street were dressed in black. With my bright yellow ski parka I stood out like a beacon. Susie noted that at least this made me easy to find.

If you're walking about, one of things you can see is the river as it flows through the city center. South of downtown the area is park-like. At downtown, the riverside takes on a more urban-alpine (if that's possible) color. A mix of old and new buildings stand as the river's east bank, with balconies hanging over the water.

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