Firstly let me say I do know I have posted 3 times in the last 2 days, but I have internet that works reasonably well, if a little slow, I have time to myself, no roster to follow and I have things to share before we head off into Eastern France tomorrow. This will be the champagne districts of France and who knows when I will be clear headed enough to post again. So please persevere with me Please!!!!
So one of my big dreams on this trip was to find some Brocante's happening and scour them.. Everytime we pass an antique shop I duck in do a little reconoiter and skip on out, empty handed, unfortunately. Mostly the things I love are either really expensive or just to big and heavy to cart half way across the world. So we heard about Puce St. Ouen (poos sahn-wahn) situated at Porte de Clignancourt, just a quick metro ride from our apartment. With more than 2,000 vendors yes you read that correctly I am not exagerating, 2,000 vendors, spread over approx 11 acres this market is actually covered alleys and open streets joined together by the wares sold. Everything from old nails, letters, stamps, books, furntiure and all the latest clothing and shoes oh and an old suitcase filled with dolls heads. We had heard that after lunch it would be extremely crowded but fortunately it wasn't.
It is very interesting to see the stalls, filled with huge chandeliers, garden ornaments in bronze and iron. Beautiful but so heavy, impossible for us to bring home. Chairs and furniture that transport you to another time. Listening to the bargaining, seeing the serious buyers and the tourists alike.
We saw people of every nationality here, many many africans, gypsies and middle eastern. All hawking there goods. The music blaring from the outside stores, selling the clothing and shoes. Men with sleezy looks, holding out watches, bags, belts and cigarettes. We hung on tight to our bags.
We both wanted to bring this little guy home, how adorable is he, sold brass though so impossible.
My ignorance is going to show here, I don't really know what this is but it is so lovely.
Oh and these gorgeous little chairs, just grandhildren size.
So as we end our time in the city of Paris, some thoughts I have.....
1. Try and speak a little French to everyone and they will almost certainly be gracious to you and help you out with some English.
2. Try the food, even if you are not completely sure what the menu says, be brave.
3. On the subject of food, how will I go home and shop in our sterilised supermarkets after strolling through markets, with a straw bag in hand, selecting the freshest, brightest, fruits and vegetables, fish and bread.
4. On food again, never eat snails in daylight, they are ugly.!!!!!
5. Climb the Eiffel Tower at night.
6. Climb the Arc du Triomphe by day.
7. Take more Euros than you think you will need for food.
8. Champagne is not cheaper in France.
9. Vin Rouge and Vin Blanc (red & white wine) is excellent in France.
10. Spend some time in an arrondissement outside of the centre of Paris, it is a whole new world out here.
11. Watch out for the dog droppings outside of the centre of Paris.
12. Get lost in some little alley ways and find Boulanger's and Patisserie's.
13. Buy fresh Baguette's and Crossaint's at every opportunity.
14. Use the Metro it's fun
15. Take a cooking class with a real French tutor.
16. Drink champagne at the base of the Eifell Tower in the dark.
17. Take a tour to France with Rick Steve's meet great people and have a blast.
18. Sit in apartment you have rented by yourselves and drink some fine wine and blog a little
When you book your tickets let me know, maybe I can join you. Now come with me to the Vineyards and Villages of Eastern France, sounds fun hey!!!!