We collected eldest son Benj from Limoges today. He’s studying Applied Languages at University there. I can’t believe how quickly his first term has flown by. Nor can he! But he’s had a brilliant time and made the most of being in the city.

We walked into Limoges to visit a couple of Marchés de Noël (Christmas Markets) that are going on. However, Youngest Son was in a moany mood. He grumbled all the way during the walk along Avenue Albert Thomas and then, once we got to the city centre, he decided he was hungry and started moaning. So I didn’t get a chance to browse round the first one in the Place de la Motte.

There were lots of foodie stalls.

I only managed to shoot off a few photos as we hurried through in the direction of fast food restaurant Quick. Big sigh. I had hoped to avoid chips for lunch, but with his student card Benj can get two burgers for the price of one at this chain of establishments, so it makes for value for money. Sort of. I fondly thought Benj would get the two burgers and give one to his Dad to save a couple of quid today, but no, they were both for him! Chris had to get his own!

Refuelled with grease and caffeine, Rors became much more co-operative and so we went off to Marché numéro deux at the Place de la République. This is the largest pedestrian zone in Limoges. It was once the site of the Abbaye St Martial. There’s a depiction of its layout in the Place.

The Abbaye was abandoned in 1789 and demolished in 1792, obviously both events related to the Revolution. Shame. It must have been a remarkable building. Anyway, today there were rows of small wooden cabins selling the same kinds of things that we’d seen at Place de la Motte.

I felt sorry for the stall holders. They all looked frozen. So did we probably as it was very chilly, but we were on the move and would be back in the warm in another hour or so. These poor guys were out in the cold all day.

There was an ice rink. Sadly Chris and Benj aren’t into skating so I shall have a go with Caiti when we bring Benj back for the start of term. The Marchés de Noël carry on until 1st January.

Caiti had decided to stay at home today. Just as well she did since the sheep decided to take on the newly rebuilt Berlin Wall and got through one of the old doors we’re using into the llama field. Good old Caiti sorted the problem out so we weren’t having to chase sheep through the Creuse countryside on our return this evening.

There’s also a fountain in the Place de la République. Or rather it was a fountain. It’s been covered over with metal plates. Apparently Benj and his mates regularly dance on them on a Saturday night!

We walked back through a part of the city I hadn’t seen before. Benj knows his way around like the back of his hand now. We passed this wonky house …

this five-storey bar …

and a shop named after me!

We passed a number of tarteries (pie and tart shops). I got a photo of the last one. Limoges seems to have a thing for tartes.

Then back to the résidences. Outside the canteen at La Borie we noticed that all the picnic tables are chained together! Benj loves city life and was highlighting all its plus points. But this having to chain outdoor furniture together to stop it getting nicked is one of the minus points.

We got home before the forecast snow. Benj saw the eoliennes in the distance. We’ll take him for a closer look tomorrow. He met the new guinea pigs, reacquainted himself with the llamas, helped wrestle the sheep, who got through the Berlin Wall again tonight, and all in all, is very happy to be back home. For a week or so at least!