09 June 2009

Colors of France #1 (Markets)



One of my favorite places to visit. France. I can go there again and again and never tire of it. And I don't mean just Paris. I've been to France three times and each time I went, I fell in love with the place just a little bit more than the last time.

I was there with Chris in Sep 2003. Before kids. He was there on business and I tagged along. While he was cooped up in meetings, I had a chance to play tourist and explore. I remember having to walk from our hotel down to Le Petit Train, --you guessed it, a small train --which would take me for a scenic ride from Juan-les-Pins down to Old Antibes. I would leisurely stroll, browse, take photos. When I got tired, I stopped at one of the many quaint cafés and just sat there and people-watched, while enjoying a savory crêpe.

One of the most interesting places in Old Antibes was its Provençal Market. I just love, love, love markets. No matter where I go, but especially so in Europe, I just have to visit the markets. There is something so intrinsically, um, whimsical, about markets. I never know what I'll find and oftentimes I come away richer (and poorer, too, you might say!) for the experience.

I was lucky enough to chance upon this market on a Tuesday morning... See, from June to August, it's open every morning, but we were there in September and it was open only on Tuesday and Sunday mornings from September to May. Lucky me!


Just looking at this makes my mouth water... It's hard to resist buying a little bit of this, a little bit of that when you see (and smell!) this colorful array of spices before you.

I bought some of these...

...and these. And I was not afraid to use these herbs (not the lavender!) liberally in most of the dishes I did after we came back from the trip. Yes, before kids, I still did most of the cooking.
Tea, glorious tea. I couldn't resist the little rosebuds, so I got some. Each time I drank rose tea, I would be reminded of this market.
Olives and nuts...

Les champignons. Yes, mushrooms.

Olive oil. Rational Me and Impractical Me had a war of words inside my head over the wisdom of buying a few bottles of these. Good thing Rational Me won. It's not like I couldn't get olive oil here. But, but, but... Hush, Impractical Me! That's how it went.

I look forward to bringing the Josh and Zoë with us the next time we go. OR, if Josh really pursues his dream of becoming a chef and actually ends up taking a course at Le Cordon Bleu, then I might have an excuse to stay in France longer!

7 COMMENTS:

Lindy said...

I fear I will never travel to France but not because of anything you photographed (which were awesome BTW) - it would be b/c of the chocolate. You'd never get me away from the pastries.

Jenjen @GottaLoveMom said...

Lovely and gorgeous...My friend's moving there next month..hopefully I'll get to see it someday.
Grab some awards in your next visit :)

ModernMom said...

Oh I love this post. I dream of Paris...Okay, anywhere in France really. It is on our list..hopefully before we need to be pushed around in wheel chairs!

Thanks for your sweet words and grabbing my button! It's brand new as of last night so your the very first!

I really do enjoy reading your blog too!

Leslie said...

OHHH how cool!!!! I REALLY want to go to Ireland one day!!!!!

hugs,leslie

LPC said...

Those are some lovely photographs and not a cute child in sight...

Wanda said...

Ah....Paris. I only went once but would return in a minute. Loved everything about the city (France too).

Then again - I loved Hong Kong, Jakarta, Manila, Bali...bla,bla....

Your pictures are so warm and inviting - we can almost smell the lavender and rosebuds. Hmmm

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

I almost felt like I was right there with you. I wish I could smell the spices. Such brilliant colors! How did the rose bud tea taste?

One of these days, maybe...

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