Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Holiday Eyes {Apt Market}

Remember when I went to Aix-en-Provence with Mrs. London (no, not that time, or that one either, but this one) and I was trying to look at it with new eyes and soak it all in, you know, like really look at it. Well I'm trying to do that with a lot of places. Four years I've been living in Provence now and I feel like I've let a lot of it pass me by without truly absorbing it. Well no more. No more will I let Provençal quaintness whoosh me by without taking any notice.

So as part of this seeing life through 'holiday eyes' experiment, I decided that a trip to a market was in order. I like markets, it's hard not to, but I don't really like them during the summer. During the summer they swell and heave with tourists and it's almost impossible to enjoy. It's too hot and too crowded. But a sunny Saturday in September, now that's the ticket. It's still warm, but not too warm, it still has enough of a crowd to lend a buzzy vibe, but not so much that you can't breath. It's pretty much perfect. (Late spring is also a good time if you happen to be around).

Apt Market Provence France

We set off to Apt market which happens to be my favorite in the area. There has been a weekly market there for 900 years. That's a whole lot of Saturdays. I like how the market stalls weave up and down the ancient streets. (And I like how one of the streets leads me to a Benetton. That's convenient.)

The secret to visiting a market in Provence is to get there early, they usually shutdown by midday anyway so getting early is a must, but I'm talking like early bird, early. It's much easier to find parking and bonus, getting there a little after 8AM is the perfect excuse to pull up to a cafe for cappucinnos. (Now normally it would be a plain old café for Gregory and a café crème pour moi but since there is a poshy little coffee shop down one of the tiny streets, we went with cappucinnos.)

After our coffee fix we set off to explore the market stalls and the old city, while I did my best to try and look at everything as if I was seeing it all for the first time.

Apt Market Provence France
Apt Market Provence France
church Apt Provence France

This photo is the opposite of good but I still wanted to show you the chandeliers inside the church because they were all sparkly and beautiful. It's not the chandeliers' fault I'm a crappy photographer. And speaking of being a crappy photographer, I read my camera manual. That's something I have never, ever done in my life. But seriously, I'm pretty sure that the manual was written for people who already know a little bit about photography because I had no idea what it was going on about. 

saucisson sec Apt market Provence France

This is Gregory's favorite market stall, he bought five saucissons secs (after going back and forth between different sausage stalls trying to figure out which one was the best); olive, noisette, Blue d'Auvergne (I picked that one out), one made from bull, and one made from donkey. I understand the sausage made from bull but donkey? DONKEY?! Nope, no thank you. 

straw baskets Apt Market Provence France
handwoven rugs Apt Market Provence France
old citroen

I got super excited when I came across a burger place that also served Mexican food until I took a closer look at the photo... sure it says burrito but those are tacos, not burritos. It's not rocket science people, it's Tex-Mex. Maybe I should offer my services as an authenticity consultant because clearly they are in need of one. They could pay me in tacos or burittos. Whatever. 


After a morning viewing the typical Provençal market wares; pottery, linens, straw baskets, cheese, and sausage, I came across a not so typical sighting... a camel, hanging out on the side of the road because yeah, that's normal. It's amazing what you see when you open your eyes. Next time I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for an elephant.  

Bisous!
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37 comments:

  1. Can't wait to take your witty holiday eyes back to Salon!! Your pics are very good!! Bisous

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  2. What a great market! We are thinking of road tripping up to Marseille from Barcelona, we may have to stop in Aix-en-Provence!

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  3. this market looks amazing. i think i would go back and forth too, trying to figure out the best sausage .hhaa

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  4. Apt! You introduced me to it! Thank you for taking me back there.
    Now: 1. You know how much I love chandeliers, so thank you again, and
    2. I'm so proud you read your camera manual. You're practically an expert now!

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    1. Whoops! First read that as camel manual and didn't even question the idea.

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  5. Yay! I love your happy Holiday Eyes posts! I think it is really good to do that when we can. Do you know that I have never been to the Apt market? Aix neither. Everyone here (note the "here") says that Arles is the biggest in Provence. But as we well know, bigger is not always better ma chere...
    And hey! Tell that saucisson dude to leave the donkey alone! Put a little straw hat on him with the ears cut out and let him live his life in peace!!!

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  6. 5 saucissons? That's a lot of sausage!! ...but I bet they were delicious (apart from maybe the Donkey one)
    I've not been to Apt, but i's going on the list! I LOVE markets - all over the world, but nowhere does a market like France! I think there's room for a tex-mex stall though if you opened one!
    Sarah x

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  7. Burrito... taco... as long as it tastes good, who cares?

    My boyfriend and I went to a similar stall in Luxembourg. He loooooves dry sausage! We got a garlic one, a buffalo one (that's what it said anyway), a duck one and I can't remember the rest. Donkey would have been a little too bizarre for me!

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  8. Whatttt tthis looks like the best market I've ever seen. I want just a mash of those signs on my wall. And any place with burritos is ok with me!

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  9. You had me at the word market. I LOVE them... especially the European kind. Looks like an incredible day! And the camel... that's just the cherry on top :) xxx

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  10. OMG, this market looks beautiful and I love the secret you shared about getting there early too. I would love to go here one day!

    xoDale
    www.savvyspice.com

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  11. There is so much stuff I would love to buy, the baskets and tiles especially. I'd love to visit Southeastern France (I've only been to Southwest and just seems okay in comparison).

    I've been meaning to say that thanks to you I knew what raclette was (I did mispronounce it) and was able to order it! It was a crepe option at a French restaurant in Pittsburgh. The waiter (who was a French transplant himself) was most impressed with my selection :)

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  12. Is that someone's pet camel tied to a tree?!? I never got used to seeing that in India...

    Those rugs - I want one! And the blue VW - I told Cory if I ever own another car {and I may never...} I want it to be an old VW bug. Not the new ones, I want an old one.

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  13. I would so love to go to that market. I can't imagine. Did you try the mexican food? I tried a McDonald's in Rome and it didn't even taste the same. The donkey must have been a Sardinian thing and I wouldn't have touched it with a ten foot pole. I just thought of something to ask. Why don't they serve drinks with ice in Italy and France. We were there last in September, and I was dying for an drink with ice.

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    1. In France soda are serve with ice but not water or wine.
      My mother said drink too cold is not good for the treeth and the digestion.
      I don't like have ice in my "carafe d'eau"

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  14. Oh my word, so SO beautiful! Those textiles are to die for! I would love to spend some time there! : ) By the way, I have to apologize for not getting back to you about the color post that you asked me about on Twitter. My mom had joint replacement surgery in her hand, so I was over at her house for most of the last two weeks. It's been pretty crazy! But I'll check it out and see if I can do it, if it's not too late, Thanks for thinking of me though! : )

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  15. Ahh... we stayed near Apt last Toussiant and visited the market. I was pining for it even before I saw these photos. It all looks so beautiful and you ARE a good photographer!

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  16. Ah! I love all of this...I want to come to a market!!! Such great pics! :)

    LB

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  17. The deux Cheveaux is beautiful....apologies to the person above who thought it was a VW bug.....but no, pas l'âne! non, jamais

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    1. I swear I saw that same blue deux cheveaux somewhere last month while I was in Provence even though we didn't go to Apt.

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  18. Hmmm... how much for the camel? =D

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  19. My nearest Taco Bell is 18 miles away....like seriously, what's up with witholding Tex Mex from needy girls?

    Also, I love this idea. Whenever I have friends come to town I'm always like "Well, I mean I guess we could do the typical Atlanta tourist stuff like the Aquarium or the coke museum (soda code...not crack coke...just for clarity)"....I have never been to either.

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  20. Oh to travel in September! I can't wait to retire from teaching for that reason alone. I think the photos are gorgeous, especially the one of the tiles and the Citroen. I bought a photography book much like your manual. Had no clue what I was reading and did to glean even one tip from it!

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  21. We need to talk! I think you live in an area we LOVE and visit often! I adore the Apt market and we found a treasure of a place to stay in Apt. You could have the sexiest dinner party there and feel like a princess for sure!

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  22. I love markets! I'm with you, wait a little later when the swell of people have died down a bit! Your photos are great!! You captured it well!! And calling it a burrito?!! That is just crazy!! I'm a transplant Texan too and anytime I see something like that I know if I just got in there and gave them a bit of consulting (you know, because we are such professionals) they could go along way with their Tex-Mex!

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  23. Hello,
    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I've visited your blog a couple of times but never actually left a comment before :) By the way, I think lamb sausage is bad (they have it here in Germany), I have no idea if there's actually donkey sausage... Ehh even less appealing..
    Zia from Bits of Germany

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  24. Holiday eyes! Very clever. Love it. I was afraid, looking at the title, that it was an early Christmas post! I just bought my pumpkin so I'll all fall right now! But back to holiday eyes, sometimes after a few years of being somewhere, it's hard to see it with fresh eyes. Good for you for taking on the challenge! Great shots. Those little signs are darling.

    You should so consult the Tex-Mex place or rather...start a business? ; )

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  25. I love going to markets! There is always do much to see! And I love these chandeliers! But donkey sausages? Oh no....Donkeys are some of my favorite animals...

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  26. Saucisse oui! Donkey, non! (Big yuk on that one :))

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  27. Nice pictures. Sometimes i feel like offering to correct the "english" translations of menus in return for a free meal!

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    1. !!! Not only menus. There was one very serious municipal website that described its rapeseed crop industry which was translated as f**kseed all the way through.

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  28. Have you come across the donkey milk soap people? That's really weird!

    Looks like you got a bonus llama in the back of that last photo too :oD

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  29. Reading this late since I recently returned from a Nice, St Remy and Paris trip. I'm working backwards. I got hung up on the next newest blog by a "long-running script," and finally was presented with a Stop Script option. Just loved this post. It's funny to try to describe market to Americans who've never been there. You've really captured some of the great eye candy there, mostly things you can't haul home in your little suitcase. :-(

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  30. yeah, I don't know how I feel about donkey sausage...

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