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04.06.11 Arles Market
The Saturday market in nearby Arles is one of the biggest I’ve ever come across: two kilometres of stalls, four deep for most of the way, stretching from the start of Blvd des Lices to the end of rue de la Republique.
We were late arriving, the overnight thunderstorm didn’t help, and had to park a fair bit away from the market. But the walk in gave us a close-up view of the main attractions here: Les Arenes (a very well preserved Roman monument) and the nearby Theatre Antique, another elegant Roman building. Both are still used today and we will visit them in the near future.
While there are many stalls selling leather goods, handmade jewellery and clothes, the vast majority are in the food business. I saw at least five or six stalls selling shellfish and only shellfish while just as many were selling all the other fish.
Strolled down one alley made by two sets of stalls and then up the other. The weather was quite fine at this stage and the cafes were full and quite a few also at Mullins Irish Bar. A brass band played and it was hard enough to make progress such were the crowds out shopping.
But it was tough enough going as our bags filled up and we just about made it all the way. Purchases included cod, mussels, marinated olives, olive tapenade, melons, asparagus, strawberries, and the famous local and rather expensive Banon cheese (wrapped in chestnut leaves). But we’ll be back again to browse through other stalls, including those selling spices, soaps, perfumes, and more...
Just made it back to the car before the heavy thundery rain returned.