It’s only 1.5 hours on the bullet train from Paris to Dijon, and we like mustard and traveling at 300 km/h across gorgeous pastoral landscapes, so… why not?
Plus, 12 seconds of online research had informed us that Tuesday is Dijon market day, and we love markets, so… why not some more?
While markets in France certainly sound different in the specifics than those in North America, the experience in general is the same.
Farmers proudly arrange their spring produce…
… and happily discuss the merits of sunshine, good health, and perfect radishes.
People of all ages wander to gander the stalls, the wandering being as much a part of the day as the gandering.
Olives? Check. Candied popcorn? Check.
Assortments of old clocks and inner workings? Yup.
Fashion-forward accordionist? Certainment!
The produce was glorious. I didn’t inquire, but these heirloom tomatoes looked like the gene pool probably started in the kitchen gardens of Versailles.
There were dozens of different kinds of everything, a few of which we even recognized.
The cafes were perfectly crowded with satisfied shoppers, soaking up sun and killer caffeine in equal measure…
… while other attendees were just waiting for someone to kick a stray sausage their way.
(The truth is this critter is probably another canine super-model, disdaining meat and carbs in preference for a daily handful of those exquisite radishes and a nice Cote du Rhone. He and Winston would make perfect room-mates.)
In the center of the market square was a huge indoor market, perfect for ending the shopping trip out of the sun and picking up goods from the refrigerator section.
Oh my word! Who can resist those cheeses?!
Not Rick and his trusty neon-orange bulging backpack.
Note how quickly he has picked up the local sign language. He was either telling the proprietor “Close enough!” or, “Sure… give me the whole block.”
(He doesn’t mean to be easy to spot in a crowd. He’s just drawn that way.)
We wandered a ways from the market to a quiet cafe where we stopped for some lunch and “un pichet du vin.”
Rick took a moment to try out his handful of new coloring markers, bought at an art store across from the market.
They worked so nicely in his cartoon journal (some samples to follow here in the next post or two) that we decided to head back to the market to buy a whole set, et…
… Voila! The market, she was gone!
Apparently, market “day” is a term thrown around loosely in the literature. We were informed by the art store proprietor that promptly at one o’clock, everyone rolls up their radishes and smoked eels and heads for the hills.
On walking into the now completely silent grand hall, Rick stood for a moment to take it all in, then pronounced, “Wow. If you don’t get your fromage before midi, you are shit outta bon voyage!”
On the plus side, our language skills have advanced to “Franglais 101.”