This week saw us going to a market! Yes another market, this time in the old Savoie town of Annecy.
It was Sunday and the Sunday market in Annecy is the best. In summer it is heaving, with tourists, with gawkers, with families just wanting to get the kids out, with kids being trampled on, left right and centre, babies in strollers, so low to the ground, that you trip over them, fashionistas with their designer dogs, either getting under your feet or being carried in arms like babies, people with walking sticks, ready to bash your ankles if you jump the queues, and the locals who come every week to buy their fruit, vegetables, cheese, cold meats, fish, oysters ( when in season) and don’t forget the inevitable roast chicken man, or even men, and of course the Vietnamese with their nams, and the Alsacienes with their plates of choucroute, or the Spanish with their Paella’s, the list is endless.
In winter it is calmer and by nature not so big, still the fruit and veg, the cheese in abundance, the sausages, the honey, the fish, the oysters and of course the Chicken men! Don’t forget them, they are to be found on every market, winter or summer, and there is always a queue! Added to these markets, of course is the usual array of junk, socks, hats, mattresses and the person demonstrating some useless piece of kitchen equipment, that someone, somewhere can not live without!
I often accuse Himself of taking me to Annecy on a Sunday, because everything else is closed ( apart from restaurants that is). His father used to take his mother shopping on a Sunday exactly for that reason ( wouldn’t work today would it)? However France is very much regulated, no opening on Sundays, except small grocery shops and then only in the morning, Bakers, Patisseries, maybe a butcher or two, it otherwise FORBIDDEN! Except if you are Ikea, just outside Paris, they open every Sunday, packed to the doors, fined every Monday and open the following Sunday !
This time round was also the dog end of the Christmas Market, once upon a time, I went every year to the Market in Aachen ( on the German Belgian border) with my kids. We always bought things, handmade knickknacks, fun ornaments for the Christmas Tree and some alternative gifts for school friends. Nowadays, they seem to be just a continuation of a regular market and not much of interest.
We did explore a couple of shops, that we had not come across previously. One a smart cake shop, but at €5 a pop, I guess it should be, but nonetheless, beautiful looking cakes !
The other a Traiteur, no not a Traitor but a smart, I suppose Take Away, not sure that they really exist in the UK. Usually very smart and expensive, salad of Gambia’s €49 a kilo, but always doing a roaring trade, so that which is not readily available on the market, will be found here. Not sure I have shopped in a Traiteur, but I always like to look.
Once the market is closed or close to closing the Brasseries, cafes and restaurants burst into full swing, so if you haven’t had your cup of coffee by then you are too late! Non! Non ! Non! Simplement pour manger! Only for eating and Sunday in France equals La Grande Bouffe, Bouffe actually translates as Grub and as such one can te goinfrer! On the otherhand if one were to stuff oneself at Macdonalds, or the like, then the French have another word for that, Malbouffe, as one can not Bouffe at Macdonalds!
One last note from Annecy, we found this old street sign, worth noting that this now pedestrianised street was once a Route National!