The sky at home is (yet again) drippy and dark, so I’m turning to my archives for some sunshine.
Esteban and I spent a few days in Arles last year. Because we’re both history buffs, we were keen to see the Roman ruins and the well-preserved medieval city.
But mostly we came for the Provençal sun — and the bright colors it inspires. Those were on display at the huge Saturday market , which fills the length of the Boulevard des Lices every week.
The market has two sections: The first, on the eastern end of the boulevard, features durable goods from purses to pots and pants. We didn’t need upholstery fabric by the yard, however, so we kept our visit short.
The other half of the market, on the western end of town, is all about flowers and food.
I loved watching the locals interact with the vendors. Many knew each other, and shopping seemed to be as much a social occasion as a weekly errand.
I especially loved the friendly butcher who pressed me into service as a (terrible) translator for some German tourists — although I found it a bit unnerving that he punctuated his conversation with a large knife.
Still, his gourmet sausages were delicious. He told me the cattle were raised locally and gave me precise directions to the farm — you know, in case I wanted to visit the herd.
There were dozens of other specialty booths, from pottery to spices and greens.
My favorite booths featured the local specialties — such as these regional cheeses spiced with basil and pimento. When the shopkeeper asked for my order, I almost said “One of everything, please.”
But sun-kissed Provence is most famous for its produce — and on that score, the market did not disappoint.
I’m slowly sifting through the rest of my photos from Arles, so I’ll be back with more soon. (Especially if this dreary weather continues. Sigh.)