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The Markets of the Luberon

sunny 21 °C

We thought that we had written enough about French markets over the years, but that was before we came to the Luberon. There is at least one market every day, except Mondays, in the villages of this region and many are small affairs with just a handful of stalls selling expensive 'local' products to tourists. However, there is one market every Sunday that rivals the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul for its size and range of products. It is the market that sprawls along the banks of the river in the town of L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue...
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Many thousands of people flock to the town each weekend to buy their groceries and to haggle over a piece of bric-a-brac in the brocante section where old industrial bobbins seem to be a staple...
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The colourful market snakes through every street and alleyway and fills every plaza and square. There is a festive atmosphere as the crowds wend their way though stalls selling everything from women's lingerie to fresh fish from the nearby port of Marseille...
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Garlic, onions, shallots and lemons grow in abundance under the hot Mediterranean sun and now is the time to stock up for the winter...
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Provence is world renowned for its herbs and lavender. Herbes de Provence are sold in the market by the kilo...
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We missed the lavender harvest, when the fields of Provence are a photogenic purple and the air is heavy with its sweet perfume, but now the crop has been cut the market stalls are laden with all manner of scented toiletries...
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Despite the disastrous frost of 1956 there is still an olive harvest in the Luberon and it is amazing to see so many varieties so beautifully displayed...
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Olive oil is still made here on a small scale, and this is one of the stone mill wheels that once lubricated the economy of this region...
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The river Sorgue begins life as a mountain spring in nearby Fontaine du Vaucluse and the power of the gushing water has been used to make paper there for centuries. With the wind driving the olive mills, the river turning the waterwheels and the sun ripening all of the crops, the Luberon has been at the forefront of renewable energy for thousands of years.
Now It is Sunday, the market closes at 1pm and our week in sunny Provence is coming to an end. Just one more day and another bottle of the delicious local wine before we have to leave.

Posted by Hawkson 10:32 Archived in France

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Comments

Thank you for the mill photo. Fascinating. I've always wondered how those stones were set up.

by R and B

Major case of envy. A truly wonderful time of the year. Thanks for sharing a bit of Provence with us.

by Sue Fitzwilson

All that beautiful food looks wonderful. I miss our Farmers Market now that it is closed for the winter.
We had another Power outage yesterday. Too many this fall!!! Love from Gabriola

by Jean McLaren

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