A French market

Each Friday, the main square in the small town of Souillac comes alive. It’s market day and that means a traditional French gathering of local producers.

Written by Michael Turtle

Michael Turtle is the founder of Time Travel Turtle. He has been a journalist for more than 20 years and has travelled the world full time since 2011.

Michael Turtle is the founder of Time Travel Turtle and has been travelling full time for a decade.

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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.

Souillac market day, France

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.

Souillac market day, France

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.

Souillac market day, France

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.

Souillac market day, France
Souillac market day, France
Souillac market day, France
Souillac market day, France
Souillac market day, France
Souillac market day, France
Souillac market day, France
Souillac market day, France
Souillac market day, France
Souillac market day, France
Souillac market day, France
Souillac market day, France
Souillac market day, France

For accommodation, I suggest Le Quercy in Souillac.

Time Travel Turtle was supported by Headwater Holidays as part of a Captivate project but the opinions, over-written descriptions and bad jokes are his own.

8 thoughts on “A French market”

  1. Beautiful photos of these booths and food and people surrounded by beautiful, historic, European architecture! LOVE this market with local products – and you can really see the French culture in Souillac through these photos and descriptions.

    Reply
    • Markets are always such interesting and vibrant places but I particularly like the local ones in small places where nothing has been added for the tourists or visitors. It’s a much more authentic experience to wander through and see it all.

      Reply
  2. Lovely pictures. I definitely would love to go to a French market like this! Seems like a wonderful way to try out some local French food. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

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