During our recent trip to France one of the things we learned was that many of the small towns in Provence had weekly markets. In the course of our visit we went happened upon two markets in two different towns on two different days.
Market day in-the town of L'Isle sur la Sorgue in Provence is on Sunday. This town sits on the Sorgue River and the river and canals meander through the town. Beautifl water wheels, green from moss, slowly turn from the gentle flow of the river. The town is famous for antiques, there are more than 300 antique dealers in the town, and L'Isle sur la Sorgue’s Sunday antique market is said to be the largest in France. However, the non-antique portion of the market was huge and covered a large portion of the center of the town. When the Lovely Sharon and I arrived, around 10:00 a.m., the market was already packed by serious shoppers and those just wanting to stroll the streets and check out the hundreds of booths and people watch. This might have been the largest open market-street fair I have ever seen.
There were clothes, scarves, handbags, belts, jewelry, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, cheeses, books, phonograph records, art, toys, sausages, and foie gras. There were all kinds of foods ready for immediate consumption or to take home. There were beautiful and colorful flowers of all kinds.
The aroma of the many foods and strong French coffee drifted throughout the market as the Lovely Sharon and I strolled the main streets and several sides streets that were lined with booths where vendors were offering their wares.
There were accordion players playing French music in a couple of locations, with their hats set before them hoping for a coin or two. In an isolated small square we came upon a jazz quintet, singing and playing an energetic jazz that had American musical tones and rhythms but French vocals.
The sidewalk cafes and bistros were packed with people enjoying wines and coffees or having a meal while the market activities went on about them.
As we walked through the market we came upon the La Collégiale Notre Dame des Anges church which was rebuilt in the 17th century. As we approached the church, the sun was shining and the church bells were ringing.
Market Day, colorful, fun, an explosion of imput for the senses.