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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Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen says
The markets are just that - amazing. It's incredible how much there is to see all in a very short period of time. I was saying the same things to Meakin that you were to Scott. Then I started taking photos with my phone and all of a sudden we both were snapping shots on our phones at every market we visited. We got to know one of the market vendors and it's hard work, setting up in a different town each day, then tearing it down and starting all over the next day. Kind of like gypsies if you will. Can't wait to hear about the cooking school. Judging from where you are staying, my guess will be it was with PW.
What an incredible experience Chris~ to live like a frenchman and shop the open markets! I can only imagine the sights and smells and incredible treasures you found and saw!
Madonna/aka/Ms. Lemon says
France, twice this year??? You lucky girl. We can always count on you to find the fun places. I love your enthusiasm and Scott, I love your photography.
btw, can't wait to hear about your cooking class.
Tricia @ Saving room for dessert says
Oh you know I would love this! The photos are wonderful Scott and the market looks amazing. So glad you are having a wonderful time!
Oh, how wonderful!!! Provence has been a dream destination for years now and still I haven't managed... got to make it soon, we have a camper van now and it is really not that far. I have to talk to my husband very seriously right now. 🙂
John/Kitchen Riffs says
Gosh, I envy you! You must be having a wonderful time. Terrific market -- and superb pictures. Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us.
I loved the post and photos. Everything is so gorgeous. What a beautiful picture of you Chris. Good job Scott..
Truly, Scott should make these photos into a coffee table book to sell!
Carol Schacht says
All the photos you've been posting the past few days are amazing - makes me want to pack my bags!
Chris Scheuer says
Thanks Carol! Traveling (or seeing travel pics) can be addicting! Watch out, you may be the next one to travel!
Gosh, that looks and sounds like an incredible time. I think I loved the picture of all that fresh arugula the best. yum.
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
What an incredible day at the market, Scott captured it beautifully and you look right at home with your flowers!
Ok I just showed my husband practically every picture in here. If I were at this market, I wouldn't even know where to start with photographing all the beautiful and tasty sights!
Chris Scheuer says
It was a hard job Valerie, but someone had to do it! 🙂
WOW! Makes me want to visit just to see the market. I wouldn't mind seeing more images : )
Vicki V says
This is all so beautiful that it makes me want to cry. I cannot wait until I can see it all for myself, but in the meantime, THANK YOU for those gorgeous photos. I'm half French (albeit French Canadian) but somehow feel like it is where I belong. Scott is quite the professional food photographer.
Scott--Excellent photos. My mouth is watering!
Vos photos sont sublimes.Chanceux !
C'est tellement beau la Provence..
We also visited a market in a little town in Provence last month. Beautiful quality food and other items. Such a feast for the eyes!
I am SO envious--what a wonderful experience! I need to go grocery shopping but I would much rather go to market in Apt, Provence with you. The sights, the aromas, the light and especially the people!
Kymber Leigh says
You never fail to impress me, you are beautiful, your pictures are beautiful and I'm always excited to see a new email on your fascinating life's adventures! Thank you for sharing with us! Enjoy and looking forward to the next post and pictures!
Charlotte Moore says
That is truly amazing how they set up and poof be gone. There is a lot of stuff!!
I would have loved to seen where all that produce was grown!
I enjoyed every picture! What an adventure!
Safe travels back home!
Chris Scheuer says
Thanks Carolyn! We were able to travel (by bike and car) through a lot of the Provence countryside and did get an opportunity to see many of the farms (and vineyards) that produced this wonderful bounty!
linda paige tolis says
Chris...Thank you for sharing the beautiful photos of God's glorious abundance! A feast for the eyes.
We also enjoyed the markets in Germany. Such a blessing!
Chris Scheuer says
Thanks so much Linda for your beautiful comment! The whole trip has been a beautiful reminder of God's tremendous provision for his people. Markets bring our realization of that so much closer to home, don't they?
Hi Chris, what an amazing market, oh I know I could just live there, gorgeous pics!!
How fun!! Thank you for showing us such a beautiful place!!
Chris Scheuer says
You're more than welcome Nancy!