Monday, November 14, 2011

Markets in Provence

While we were in Provence, one of the main things on my list was to visit some of the fantastic French Markets in the different little towns. 

Saturday morning we headed to Arles for their big market.  Every week, they have one on Saturdays and also one on Wednesdays.  Saturday's market is the bigger of the 2 and is held along the Boulevard des Lices.  It was just wonderful - everything you could want from produce and meats to clothes and fabrics. 


Every kind of spice that you can imagine - and the aromas were amazing - you could smell them just by walking by.

Olives, peppers and more olives.

Clothing, jackets, belts, shoes...

House wines in boxes and jugs

Tapenades, spreads, and more olives.

Soaps made with olive oil, lavendar satchels, all kinds of things.

We picked up a few things at the market - some gifts to bring back, tapenades, lavendar.  We also had some amazing breakfast paistries and also a wonderful lunch.  Most of the vendors spoke enough English that we were able to make the transaction easily - and if not, hand gestures and pointing also worked!

Sunday morning we headed to L'Isle sur la Sorgue, which is known as the "Venice of Provence."  The town sits on the islands created by 5 branches of the Sorgue River.  During the summer months, the market is open daily - but otherwise it's open on Thursday and Sunday mornings.  On Sunday there is also the antiques market set up as well.  It's one of the largest markets outside of Paris and a must see.

Some of the vendors we recognized from the day before.

It was just a perfect day.  The stalls are along the water all around the town.

Door knobs...

Lots of beautiful antiques and furniture - it was amazing.  I wanted so many things but it was pretty expensive.

So I just took pictures instead!

After doing one walk through, we decided to get some food for the week.  We stayed in an apartment, which was perfect.  We bought olives from this place...

And vegetables from this place...

We bought wine for the night from this guy.  For 8 euros, and it was fantastic!   

Need some shoes while you're here?

With all of our wonderful market finds, we made a delicious and healthy dinner.  We greatly enjoyed our bottle of wine... 

I pulled together some green beans and tomato slices, a bowl of olives, some delicious cured meats and a fresh baguette with some olive oil.  It was quite the feast!  I'm so glad we decided to get food at the market - we felt like locals, and were able to experience a bit of the Provencial culture.  Plus - there wasn't a grocery store open anywhere!

Our French Market adventure really makes me want to hunt down some local farmers markets here and visit them.  Even if I don't go every weekend for fresh produce, I certainly want to make it a point to shop them more regularly!

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