Sunday! Weekend markets are really one of those special things you can enjoy in France. Almost every small village – except ours – has a market once a week. I believe people also prefer to buy their groceries from markets than in big super marches, although it’s also always extremely busy at those as well.
So I’m not totally sure, but when we told one of Eduards french colleagues how impressive we thought the super marches were and how much choice they had on bio veggies and stuff, he told us that it’s even better to go to the small markets where you buy from small local farmers and craftspeople. And that is true, markets in the Netherlands are full with stalls that are so professionalized that there doesn’t seem to be a difference between the vegetables and fruits you buy at the supermarket. The origin is probably the same. Here in France you find totally different vegetables and fruits (but also cheeses and meats) at the markets. The stalls are generally smaller. You often find people standing next to a table full with handmade marmelade or walnuts from their garden. Vegetables and fruits look less shiny and are often smaller, but taste delicious. These markets also reminded me of the markets in Macedonia.
To enjoy the markets more often we try to go to a big supermarket once every three weeks and visit new markets every week on one of the weekend days. We don’t have to go every Saturday, because these great french people also have specific markets on Sunday (only in the morning though). Today we went to one of those Sunday markets in Fontanil Cornillon. The small village is very cute and nicely located and as of today their market is now one of our favorite ones. We got some cheeses, vegetables (the first white asparagus of the year!) and – aghum – sorry guys, I know it’s bad, since I’m a vegetarian, but Eduard was intrigued by it – a sausage made from a donkey (see below). :S What I find good though of these frenchies is that they don’t make a difference between a pig or a lamb or a cow or a horse and donkey, meat is meat and if you make something from a specific kind of meat you just name it as it is!
After the market we had a mini breakfast feast at home and decided to go out for our weekend hike. This time Eduard found a nice hike at Gorges du Bruyant, which was around a 15 minutes drive from our house. It was an easy hike which was situated next to a small river. So the experience was extra nice, since we didn’t only have a great view, but it was also a feast for our ears, listening to the river all the way up. You can see a map of the hike above.
It was a walk that is recommended to be walked from april till oktober and although most of the path is very good, we had to cross the water several times. One of the crossings you can see above on the left, we just had passed it when I made this picture. You can see another great crossing on the picture below. Most of the times like the places both above and below there were enough rocks in the water to pass the river, but at one point we had to stop unfortunately because these natural stone bridges weren’t available. Other people did follow the track to the spring though, we were at 2/3 so unfortunately we didn’t make it.
Next time I have to prepare for wet feet and either just take my shoes off or take some water/surf shoes with me for some parts where we have to walk on the stones in the water. I’m not sure how the other people did it, probably they just climbed on the rocks and/or didn’t mind if their shoes got totally soaked. ;) I’m not there yet.
We enjoyed it a lot though and realized it was a pity that we didn’t bring a picknick with us for after the hike, where we could have set next to a rippling river to top it off perfectly. We’ll do that next time!