A Few Of My Favourite Things: Carousels

I’m just a big kid at heart.

Something I try to do in every new city I visit is find and ride a carousel. I love the music, I love the intricate artwork, and I love how every carousel has a story to tell.

Carousel comes from the French word  carrousel and the Italian word carosello. The word originated in the 12th century as a way to describe a combat exercise and game played by Turkish and Arabian horsemen. The carousels we’re more familiar with were first built for fairs in central Europe and England in the early 19th century.

I loved riding the merry-go-round as a child, but my first carousel ride as an adult was at Forum des Halles in the heart of Paris, France, in 1998, and that’s when I became interested in them for their history.

Heather on the carousel at Forum des Halles, Paris, France (1998)

The year after, then-boyfriend-now-hubby bought me a beautiful musical carousel for Christmas that plays 15 different old time songs and 15 Christmas carols.

Mr. ChristmasTime musical carousel

I took a trip alone to Nashville in 2001, and the first thing I did after hitting the hotel was walk down to the Riverfront Park at 1st and Broadway to find  The Fox Trot Carousel. This one is really fascinating to me because it features thirty-six hand carved figures representing famous Tennesseeans.

Heather & Amelia Earheart on the Fox Trot Carousel (2001)

A kind, older gentleman had fun taking photos of me on my 29th birthday as it went round and round. He had a camera himself, so I convinced him to get on the carousel, too, so I could snap a picture for him. I think we made each other’s days.

You cannot be in a bad mood and ride the carousel at the same time. You just can’t. That’s why it tops my Favourite Things list.

5 responses to “A Few Of My Favourite Things: Carousels”

  1. awww. apparently you cant READ about carousels and be in a bad mood either.
    love the France picture…

  2. I saw the photo before I read the caption and immediately thought “That’s the carousel at the Forum des Halles!” We used to live nearby and that was a favorite, along with the double decker carousel outside the Hôtel de Ville. Some things even New York can’t do…

    1. Hi Fionnuala, thanks so much for the visit! Yes, Paris has some of the best carousels in the world–but I have yet to try the one in Central Park, so let’s do that next time we’re all in NY 😉

  3. Carousels ARE fun. If you are ever in NYC, check out the one in Central Park.

    Charming post, Heather.

  4. aww! i love carousel’s as well! when my grandma would take me to amusement parks, that was the only thing she could ride. so i loved it so much and it brings such fond memories back to me of the times I had with her as a child. your pictures are beautiful!

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