Sunday, August 29, 2010

French Flea Market Heaven

We were up early this morning in order to be on our way to the flea market by 8 a.m., after a lovely dinner in Soreze, a slightly bigger small town a 5 minute drive away from here. Four of the five of us sampled the cassoulet, which is a bean stew with several types of meat in it, usually duck and pork sausage. The chef, Gigi, has won prizes for her cassoulet and we were not disappointed, it was delicious. They served us in one huge pottery dish (see photo and notice the "ice bag" for the wine to the right of the dish) and there was so much left over, we simply had to ask if we could take it home (which is rather gauche here in France) and they very kindly packed it up for us. Guess what we're having for dinner tonight? :)

We spent several hours touring the flea market this morning. Usually there are several vide greniers held each Sunday in the summer but today there was only one, so we took our time. Eleven a.m. found us sampling champagne at Alain's stall - could it get any better than this? My companions bought several bottles. After all, we are here for two weeks, n'est-ce pas?

We went around all the stalls twice, sometimes together, sometimes on our own. I bought several things, none of which cost more than 3 euros (more photos in a later post). I was excited to find some of the hydro insulators I had so admired and photographed last time I was here two years ago, and dismayed to discover it was three glass pieces attached together that I could barely lift, let alone transport back to Canada. Oh well.

After a sausage sandwich served on a baguette with Dijon mustard (so French!!) and a cool drink under a shady tree around noon, we decided we would just take one more quick trip around to make sure we hadn't missed anything. And my goodness, am I ever glad we did! I found this amazing game box, filled with a small cardboard checkerboard, several bingo cards and wooden game pieces for each - a fabulous find and the most expensive thing I bought (25 euros, about $30) but it had a lock with a key and I couldn't resist. While I was paying for this, Kate had found a wonderful metal first aid box she thought I should get, and I did - it was equally exciting and only 3 euros! Hard to decide which one I am more excited about, I love them both!

When we got home, we sat out on the sun-dappled terrace and had show and tell, oohing and aahing over everyone's treasures. We got some amazing deals, everyone was quite delighted with their purchases.

After that, we headed into the village of Durfort to explore the local shops. It seems to be the place for people to come on a sunny Sunday afternoon as the town square was full of parked cars and lots of people strolling from shop to shop, checking out the copper and leather goods. After the bargains of the flea market, everything seemed too expensive and too ordinary to me! 3 of us sat at the local cafe, Le Cyrano, and had a cold drink while enjoying the summer afternoon (did I mention we're in France???) before the 2 minute walk back to the house.

Next on the agenda was a walk to Soreze for Kate and I, which Kate remembered as being 10 or 20 minutes but turned out to be 45. Nevertheless, it was delightful, well worth the climb for the view from the top of the hill, and Meryl kindly picked us up in the car at the other end, where we stocked up on fresh bread and chocolate croissants for dinner and breakfast.

C'est manifique!

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