Today was market day in Haarlem, amazing variety of foods at incredible prices and a fantastic atmosphere, felt like the entire town had come out to get their food. Topped off the day with an old organ grinder which AK had a great time dancing to.
Provins is an old medieval market town just under an hour’s train ride from Paris. We generally find that most tourist attractions in France have terrible websites but have tons to see when you get there, Provins was unfortunately the opposite. Stellar website, not much to see or do. Oh well, you can’t always pick a winner, and we had some excellent crepes for lunch.
Le Cordon Bleu organizes a trip of some kind each semester for the students so that they can experience something food-related in Paris that they might not normally be able to. This time, Rungis Market. Rungis became the new home of the ‘main’ market after Les Halles disappeared from central Paris in 1971. Before this, butchers, fromagiers and small green grocers would travel to the heart of the city to buy their products. Now, Rungis hosts the world’s largest market for these said vendors. Our tour guide mentioned many statistics including figures like 25,000 trucks pass through the Rungis gates EVERY DAY, 12,000 people work there and billions of euros worth of goods leave the market every year. To give you an idea of how hectic it is there, business gets going at 2am…we arrived around 7am and things were quiet.
We were lead through various pavilions including dairy, meat (note there are a few sensitive pictures below of animals, just to warn you) and fruit/veggies.
Many would say that Paris lost a bit of it’s sole when Les Halles shut down and was forced to move to the suburbs. Either way, it was an interesting look into the mass production and selling of goods for Parisians.
For a final Photo Friday, what could be more appropriate than our top 5 photos of the last 6 months? While there are still about 19 rolls to develop and scan, these are our 5 favourite photos so far. They were taken with a variety of cameras, both film and digital, manual and automatic, and span the entire 6 months of our stay. While we usually let the pictures speak for themselves, this week we’ll do a quick note below each.
Eiffel towers in a shop window near Place des Vosges, near Bastille.
The old magazine stand by our first apartment. The man behind the counter could find anything you asked for in one quick step…
One of our many Eiffel tower pictures (can you really have too many?). This one taken on the way home one night with the Monument of Peace in the foreground.
A fun one taken on one of our many Paris Walks. Sushi delivery mopeds sitting outside the restaurant.
My all-time favourite, a classic Parisian market stand selling vegetables. Taken sometime during the summer, somewhere in Paris. With all the markets we visited, I really can’t be anymore specific than that…
Several years ago when we had come to Paris on vacation, we took what seemed to be a ridiculously long metro ride just to get to this sprawling flea market North of the city limits. We went to this market again on Sunday, however this time we walked from our apartment in under 30 minutes… It’s quite a famous market, and there is a maze like array of streets (although they are really too narrow for a car) lined with antique shops. They sell everything from antique furniture, to old cameras. It’s unfortunate that surrounding these little streets (and encroaching on them) is a much larger market that sells cheap knock off clothes and footwear. Since our last visit, the antique stores are losing the battle it seems. Here are a few pics from our adventure, and no we did not buy any Napoleonic furniture…
For our second day in Marseille, we actually left the town and went elsewhere. A short train ride took us to the nearby town of Arles, which has a fair bit of roman ruins in the town including a coliseum and amphitheatre.
The main reason for going to Arles was to see the world famous “Rencontres Arles” which is over 60 different photography exhibitions held all over town. This event is held each summer and attracts photographers from all over the world. While there were over 60 exhibits, to see them all would require several days, I managed to see about 20 of the exhibits, although some I browsed very briefly as they didn’t interest me too much. I found it interesting that some of the displays weren’t really photography at all, more sculpture. The one exhibit was about old carnivals and how they used to have a shooting gallery where every time you hit the bullseye it triggered a camera to take a picture of you. At the end of the exhibit they had a small air rifle range for people to try it out. I was tempted but there was a long line up and I was already running a bit late.
While I went to the various exhibits, C and AK roamed the streets of Arles through the many squares and pedestrian ways. They also spent much time at the market and in the central park in the shade as the temperatures were in the mid-30’s that day. One very nice thing about the South of France are Granita’s. These are basically Slurpees, but this is something we haven’t had since we left in June, and a real treat when the weather is so hot!. Unfortunately they cost about 4 times as much as in Canada.