Once there, we split up for a while to do some shopping for each other, meeting at the Frog Pub for a pint. While there, we heard a commotion out on the sidewalk and learned that it was caused by none other than... Pere Noel!!
Père Noel was not alone, however. He had a friend with him, Le Méchant Père Fouettard. "Méchant" means "mean" or "naughty," and Père Fouettard fit the bill exactly as he looked like a deranged, humpbacked pirate.
He was asking the kids if they'd done all their chores, and demanded the 7 times tables from a little 'un. When the kid couldn't deliver the info, Père Fouettard grabbed him and told him he was going to take him away as an example to the other children. The kid was terrified. His father was cracking up. The French-- what can I say?
After leaving Bercy Village, we headed west to see the Christmas tree at Notre Dame. On the way I took some pictures of the Left Bank from the Right. It was a beautiful evening- clear and cold.
Notre Dame's display did not disappoint. It was particularly striking because we arrived right at 6 pm-- just when the bells calling the faithful to evening mass began to ring. Beautiful.