Market day, Souillac, France
As I’ve been travelling around the Dordogne river – through the Dordogne department itself as well as the Lot department – I’ve been seeing a lot of rural areas. Along the water, through forests, past rolling fields.
Most of the communities I have passed through have been small hamlets where the houses with beautifully manicured gardens cluster around a small church or a small square.
Last night, though, I stayed in Souillac, a beautiful town on the river that has its main centre focused on an abbey church from the 12th century.
Souillac seems bigger than it actually is. Although the official population is only about 4,000 people, the commercial section has a decent collection of shops and restaurants.
Suburban areas seem to spread out in each direction but, judging by that population figure, probably can’t go too far.
I’m lucky enough to wake up here on a Friday morning because this is when Souillac really comes alive. Friday is market day and the local producers from the region congregate in the main square with their goods for sale.
It’s easy to find the market because of the steady stream of residents walking towards it pulling empty trolleys or wandering back from it with overflowing canvas bags.
Before I set off for another day of kayaking as part of my Headwater Holidays trip, I head up to the market.
All around the world, I love seeing these gatherings of people and local wares because I think they say so much about a location.
Although there’s a similarity to the basic structure of most markets (which says something about human civilisation probably) each is unique because, by its very nature, it represents the availability of local goods and the requirements of local tastes.
That’s why this small market in Souillac is just so French! Everything about it – from the cheese and the meats on sale, to the way the customers interact with the vendors, to the beautiful old church that is casting its shadow across part of the square.
I hope you enjoy these photos I took of the Souillac market in the morning. If you’ve been to a lot of other markets around the world, as I’ve been lucky enough to, I hope you notice all the little unique details about this one.
For accommodation, I suggest Le Quercy in Souillac.