Welcome to my Paris travel journal,
where I share our experiences of a special journey to Paris.
Please use these posts as a guide
for your own travels to this amazing and wonderful city!
Or simply sit, read, and dream...
Our first full day in Paris was a Sunday. Although we managed to get a full night's sleep, we were still tired and not sure what we wanted to do our first day. Before we left, we talked about maybe sticking close to our appartement for the first few days, exploring the city little by little, and then branching out further afield as the week progressed. But then I read one of our walking tours of Paris books.
Le Marché Biologique. If I wasn't mistaken, this was an outdoor organic market. Sure enough, the guide books confirmed it. We love organic food, knowing our farmer, buying raw ingredients, and all that. So I really wanted to go to this market, even just to wander and see if it was anything like American farmers markets. According to Paris Walks:
On Sunday mornings, the excellent Marché Biologique, an organic farmers' market, extends along the middle of boulevard Raspail as far as rue de Rennes. Full of the aroma of peaches, cheeses and potato galettes being cooked for instant consumption, this is the only Parisian market where you will find country farmers selling their produce--but don't expect country prices. (p. 54)
Well, of course not (prices)! It's an organic market and we already know that organic = more money.
rue de Luynes/square de Luynes, 7th Arrondissement
I pride myself on being a good map reader, with a great sense of direction (north, south, east, and west!). However, I'm used to Chicago-style streets--square blocks, and streets that go north-south, or east-west. Parisian streets criss-cross every which way, meeting at points and creating triangle patterns everywhere. (Just look at that feature photo above!!) It's almost as if a city planner took a bunch of Tinker Toy sticks, dropped them onto the floor, then traced the pattern on architect's paper. I was lost.
Eventually by chance or mishap--or my husband's keen visual skills--we found ourselves at the entrance to le Marché Biologique.
The "entrance" to le Marché Biologique
Needless to say, it was packed, and when we read about this market later that night, we discovered that it is the place where the Parisian upper crust shop for their fresh produce. We were doubly out of our element, and we didn't even know it! Mostly in French, we bought some rice and pasta from a friendly vendor, and went on.
Flower vendor at le Marché Biologique (organic market) in St-Germain.
We asked a baker if he spoke English, and he responded, "Vous êtes en France; vous parlez français!" with a grin. Ooookay. (You're in France; you speak French!)
"Je voudrais du pain, s'il vous plaît, monsieur!" (I would like some bread, please!)
With the help of a friendly young Frenchwoman standing next to me, along with my own broken French and lots of pantomime, the gentleman cut half a loaf of spelt bread for us and cheerfully took our money and made change. We loved it!
We also purchased a crêpe au poire (pear) from another vendor, and ate it up lickety-split. (Of course that means that we licked our fingers clean.)
We also managed to purchase some fresh vegetables, but weren't able to purchase a rotisserie chicken (read about that story here), then we were on our way for the rest of our walk. What a great way to begin our French vacation together!
Le Marché Biologique along boulevard Raspail in St-Germain.
Just a few blocks from le marché lay a beautiful park, and that was where we were headed.
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