It was a transformative two-hour train ride everyone because not only was I hit by a wave of people speaking only French, I also woke up. to an extraordinary sunlight. When I raced through security at the Gare du Nord, I had unknowingly dropped my passport, only to have a kind, french woman pick it up for me. Stranger kindness is always one that shines though, especially when you’re in a foreign land. It brings a sense of homecoming and definitely calmed my nerves. s
I took the metro to Saint Paul and wandered somewhat aimlessly through the Marais collecting brie, a mouthwatering french baguette, and a perfect-for-one sized bottle of bubbly along my way to Place des Vosges where I had the perfect picnic afternoon (cliche is sometimes just the most enjoyable). Afterwards I walked down to the Seine and along the eastern end of the Ile St. Louis (I once rented an apartment at 17, quai de Bourbon for a short holiday, and my highlight was none other than opening those beautiful and oh so fantastically french shutters every morning. The view of the Seine and the Pont Marie at 9am is simply breathtaking. My God, it’s beautiful).
There’s nothing like relaxing with a lovely glass of wine at the overpriced-but-who-cares terrace at the western tip of the island. Right by the bridge that connects it to the Ile de la Cite is your perfect spot. Drink the wine and the view at the same time and you’re all set with the perfect combination.
So on the dawn of the Saturday morning, after a delicious petit déjeuner, a newly made friend drove me back into Uzès to visit the famous market. You wouldn’t believe that they parking was relatively easy even through the horrific traffic. September or not, it’s hell on earth. I’d hate to think what it would be like in July or August. The market engulfs whole of Uzès. The Place aux Herbes and all the surrounding streets are full to the brim with stalls selling mainly produce from the local area – everything from fruit and vegetables to saucisson, cheese and olive oil. My favorites however were the smaller stands selling local pottery, olive wood kitchen accessories, soaps and clothes. There was also a huge, open boulevard that surrounds the city and those stalls were selling everything from CDs to fashion. The phrase hustle and bustle definitely came about from working through markets such as these. In my opinion however, this adventure was not nearly as good as the Wednesday morning market in St Remy de Provence. There are far more stalls with local artisan craftsmen and women selling their work which is much more up my street. So my advice is that although is Uzès is definitely worth a visit, you shouldn’t worry about working your visit to incorporate the market day – St Rémy or Aix would be far more enjoyable.