Market Day in Provence – the most colorful, beautiful, amazing markets that take place each week.
I really got myself in a pickle this time!
We’re spending a week in Provence where we’ve rented a flat in the historic town of Apt, which is perched on the edge of the Luberon mountains in southern France. Since we arrived on Wednesday, we’ve been exploring the town, taking long bike rides through the lovely countryside surrounding Apt, and discovering nearby quaint, picturesque-beyond-description villages. On Friday, we drove about 2 hours north to Vaison-la-Romaine and attended a delightful cooking school (more on that coming up!). We’d heard that Saturday was market day here in Apt and made sure our calendar was open that morning.
Oh my gosh, we had no clue what “market day” in Provence means. I assumed it would be a nice little farmer’s market, charming of course, as is everything in Provence. Was I ever mistaken! We got out fairly early and were greeted by brilliant blue skies.
Our little home-away-from-home is right in the city center, so we didn’t have to walk far to see evidence of the market. I’m not sure what time the vendors started setting up, but it had to be near the crack of dawn, as all the streets in the old city were already covered with stalls selling … well, everything!
I assumed it would be a nice little farmer’s market, charming of course, as is everything in Provence. Was I ever mistaken!
That’s exactly how I got in my “pickle”. I kept asking Scott (The resident Café photographer) “Did you get that?” “Did you see this?” “Look at the olives!” “Goat cheese, every kind of goat cheese you can imagine, those little mini-portions would be so great on a salad!” “Look at this; they’ve already got a huge caldron of Paella cooking!”. “Get a picture of those baskets, look at the colors!” “Aren’t these the prettiest scarves you’ve ever seen?” “Did you get a picture of them?” “No one’s going to believe this!”. “The flowers! Have you ever seen such a display?” “Bread, just look at that beautiful bread!” What is that stuff in every color of the rainbow? Soap? It’s soap! Have you ever seen anything like it?” “Herbs, spices, as far as your eye can see!” “Did you get any shots of that olive oil?” “I love that jacket, so pretty!” “What should we get for lunch?” “Did you see the beautiful chickens roasting?” Look at that fabric, every color under the sun. Did you get it?” And on and on and on… it went.
We had a delightful morning wandering through the narrow cobblestoned streets
I’ve never in my life seen anything like it. We had a delightful morning wandering through the narrow cobblestoned streets, me exclaiming over and over and Scott shooting (over and over). We bought a few little treasures, not too much, mostly had fun looking.
And just as magically as the whole market arrived and was set up, it disappeared! Scott and I returned to our flat around 1 pm and had a lovely lunch of paella, fresh bread and salad. Oh, and a glass of Rosé. They say that in Provence, lunch always includes a glass of Rosé, and you know the whole deal about “When in Rome”, right?
After lunch we took a little sieste (French for nap, and also a recommended practice here in Provence) and then ventured back out. Poof! The market had disappeared and not a single scrap of litter, bread crumb or even the faintest whiff of Paella remained to verify it’s existence.
I might have thought it was a dream but that’s where my dilemma (pickle) comes in. Scott got so many shots that I’ve had a terrible time picking out a smattering for this post. Yes the market was most definitely real. Here’s a bit of what we saw.
I tried, I really tried to limit the pics. In my defense, this was just a smidgen of the photos he took that day. Can you see why I almost lost my brains?
Market Day in Provence is truly an incredible experience!
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