Saturday Markets in Vienne, France

How we managed to stay four days couchsurfing in Vienne instead of two, I’m not quite sure.
Let me have this job.
It’s not as though the baby sounds John and I drool out make us the most charismatic people at the party. Yet the whirlwind that is our French maman Monique settled the matter in a quick tour de force with Annick (our first wwoofing host) over the phone Thursday night, and so it was that instead of going to the farm on Friday, we stayed in the city through Sunday, touring and attending markets, eating home-cooked meals and, well, really just having a terrible time.
had to.
vienne world market
A view of the Saturday market from Monique's kitchen
I will add (for the sake of seeming responsible) that I also spent time studying French, yet remain tragically lost in that beautiful language. Part of me believes that they really are just speaking pleasant gibberish, each assuming that the other is saying exactly what they'd like to hear.

I think I would rather enjoy that type of communication.

I want to tell you a bit about the town, though. It's blowing up this time of year with the advent of summer and whatnot, and I don't think many foreigners realize it? Saturday, for example, there was a "world market" with foods and artisan goods from, if not the world, at least from all over Africa. I think I saw some of the Phillipines in there, too. I mean, I counted at least 15 feasts or festivals coming up in June alone (but come after July and the town is supposedly dead). Any questions? Just ask me.

So, without further ado, here’s a bit of what we saw at the Saturday “world market” in Vienne (click the pictures to enlarge them).
french bread
Every French person seems to have their favorite bakery
from where they buy that day's bread. Let's do that.
cheesemonger france
Can I sample, um, how about those 20 right there?

france meat
"what is that girl's obsession with taking pictures
of cured meat?"
french cured meat
Are these samples? No? Not so much?

The whole town seems to come out for these markets to do their grocery shopping. While the notion of Farmers' Markets is still catching on in the U.S., it's an idea that is simply the way here.
roman temple france
Let's just have lunch here, would that be ok?
paella at farmers market
Paella is totally a Spanish thing, you guys...
Next up, we sadly/excitedly depart for our first Wwoofing farm!

The Savings: Can I just reiterate how we spent four days in a town and spent less than $30 between two people? Couchsurfing! Never underestimate the enjoyment that the couchsurfing community gets out of hosting. We lucked out this time in finding a maman who is not only an amazingly interesting person, but also likes to cook! Nonetheless, when John and I cooked for their family (5 people), we still managed to spend less than $20 (including a local wine) on the [amazing] meal (chicken, veggies, and couscous can take you far). Otherwise we ate leftovers, fruit, salads, and my homemade pumpkin granola (I have 3 months to take in French cuisine, I don't mind a few "average" foods thrown in the mix here and there).

Do you have any money-saving food saavy tips to share? Leave a comment!


  1. Liz Lemon says it best: "I want to go to there"

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