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    CLAIREINPARIS   58,585
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A lovely Sunday at the Saint-Ouen flea market

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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Hello dear Sparkfriends,

I know, you might think I am pushing it a bit today... Is that walking? Is that shopping? Well, I'll tell you what I did and you can decide! :)

If you want to come with me listening to the beautifully melancholic song by Barbara I listened to while writing this blog, you can find it here:

An English translation of the lyrics is available here:

"And together we'll smell fresh flowers in bloom,
As we stroll arm in arm down Paris streets soon..."

But back to our walk! The Saint-Ouen flea market, which first appeared around 1870 and is spread over 753,000 square feet, isn't only the biggest flea market in Paris. It is also the biggest in Europe. I didn't see all the shops, and I walked for 4 hours and a half, only stopping for a 20-minute lunch and to take pictures. I didn't buy anything!
- Ah yes, congratulations are gladly accepted... emoticon

So although it wasn't a 'proper walk' at all (my heart rate only went up when I saw something that I emoticon)...

... it was a lot of walking!

There are actually 14 different 'markets' in the Saint-Ouen flea market (known as 'Les Puces' in French). I started with the Paul Bert market, as it is right next to the Tourism Office* where I got the flea market map.

Actually, speaking about shopping at the flea market, the prices are quite high. I don't think it is really possible to go there for bargains nowadays. But if you are after beautiful things, you'll see lots!!!

I was surprised it wasn't more crowded. I had expected it to be painfully so. It might be because many Parisians are on vacation already! (Most of the shops and stalls are closed for the first couple of weeks in August, by the way...)

The weekly assignment for the Shutterbugs Team was to take pictures 'from the hip'. Well, I wasn't inspired!!! I did try, but the results weren't convincing (I guess I need to see what I am photographing!). These two were the least bad:

What I did learn from it though was that you can take pictures which go much further than what you seem to be photographing, like this where I seemed to be taking a picture of the shoes, when I also wanted the lady with the funny hat to appear on the picture!

Speaking of 'funny', I loved this little piglet!

I think if I had had a garden, I might have bought it! It was about 90 centimeters / 3ft high, so I suspect it must have been very heavy.

I tried to spend most of the time walking around the open-air markets, as it was so sunny and yet not too hot.

But some alleys were a bit more protected, like this one with books, fabrics and buttons...

The Dauphine market is all covered. I visited it though, as I had been there a few years ago and really enjoyed it.

This is where I finally decided to have lunch, at 'Les Gastropodes'! They had some beautiful salads...

... oh and nice desserts too! (This was tapioca pearls with mango pieces, mmmmm...)

I had kept the Vernaison market for the end. It is maybe the most charming and atmospheric.

I was glad the 'Tombées du camion' shop I had enjoyed last time was still there. There were two now actually, it is obviously successful!

Very few stalls are openly tourist-orientated (as in 'cheap souvenirs'). But it is still the 4th most visited site in Paris! So it is definitely very touristy (and to answer SHESMITH1's question here, it is indeed the flea market featured in the movie 'Midnight in Paris').

Many thanks for commenting on my blogs so faithfully! I am glad you enjoy them.

Here are some more flowers to thank you properly. :)

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

*P.S.: The Tourism Office has a good English website in case you would like to continue the visit:

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
MARKATSPARK 7/31/2015 6:49AM


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CATNCAG 7/15/2014 5:26PM

    emoticon Claire! That was fun!

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NASFKAB 10/9/2013 4:47AM

  lovely thanks

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GRAMPIAN 9/8/2013 5:17AM

  Thanks for the interes emoticon ting pictures.

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GOOSIEMOON 8/31/2013 10:00AM

    Lovely! Thanks for taking us along! emoticon

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EFFRAYECHILDE 8/30/2013 3:20PM


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NGCHILD 8/15/2013 9:03AM

    We were unable to visit any flea markets while we were in Paris but am planning to go back and they are high on my list during our return!

Thanks for sharing your pictures -- they are lovely!

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ALIDOSHA 8/9/2013 5:10PM

    emoticon emoticon

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WHITEANGEL4 8/6/2013 1:09PM

    Thanks for sharing. I would have loved to go with you on this reak

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JUSGETTENBY42 8/5/2013 12:27AM


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BEWELL48 8/4/2013 9:55PM

    Oh so lovely! Wish I was there with you to enjoy the day!
Thanks for posting!

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LADYVOLSFAN1954 8/3/2013 5:41PM

    Definitely qualifies as a nice walk. I enjoyed your lovely tour of the flea market. It was nice to see the contrast in flea markets in Paris as to some I've been to here in the states. Thanks again for the tour. Loved the flowers and all the photos. emoticon

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MARYANNB25 8/2/2013 11:20PM

    What a wonderful blog. Thank you so much for sharing,

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KAB7801 8/2/2013 2:46PM

    Very nice! Love the pics

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    What a neat place! thank you for sharing

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KARRENLYNN 8/2/2013 1:07PM

    entertaining, informative, and visually engaging is how I see your blogs. I always look forward to them, so thanks for sharing with us!


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HAPPYDOES 8/2/2013 8:59AM

    Such a beautiful blog, Claire.
Thank you so much. The travel bug in me is thrilled! If I can't go there, then seeing pictures from it are the next best thing.

Walking for 4 hours counts...even it was a slow walk. You were still moving and definitely beating hands down, all the ones sitting on the couch.

Congratulations on the walk, the good food, and the restraint you showed in shopping!

emoticon josie

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HICKOK-HALEY 7/31/2013 11:04PM

    The flowers are beautiful. 4 miles, good for you!! I agree, the Pig is adorable. I also like the Statues. I wonder how old they are. Lot's of cute shops to look at. Thank you for the music. That was fun to listen to while I browsed the shops.. emoticon

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MICKEYMAX 7/31/2013 10:18PM

    Love the lady with the hat. Great restraint in not buying anything. What a lovely place to be!

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GOODLANDGAL3 7/31/2013 7:05PM

  Lovely post... Thank you for the day trip. emoticon

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RUNNERRACHEL 7/31/2013 12:38PM

    Beautiful! As always you have an amazing eye and way of bringing us along.

Thank you for posting!

Yes, it definitely counts as a walk! emoticon emoticon

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MOTTAMAMALOU 7/30/2013 9:29PM

    You take the best pictures of your travels and we get to see where you have been.

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JOHNBABJR 7/30/2013 8:59PM

    Lovely photos as always, Claire. Pure escapism for me. Congrats on all the walking; you had a great workout!

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RENATA144 7/30/2013 7:20PM

  Dearest Claire, I LOVE your blog !!! I show your beautiful photos to my husband when he wants to know what I'm doing. He Loves them too.
You are so beautiful !!!

Merci beaucoup !!! emoticon emoticon

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JANETTEB553 7/30/2013 7:02PM

    lovely photos thanks

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AJB121299 7/30/2013 4:30PM

    wow, looked like fun

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CARSON412 7/30/2013 3:45PM

    Your post just made me miss Paris desperately. I lived in Bois de Boulogne for 6 months in college many years ago. I loved it! My stop was the last on the 9th or the 8th metro and then a long walk to my petit chambre de bonne with a huge window looking out onto the courtyard. It was lovely! The pics of the peonies and the "contes de Grimm", the blue and white street signs. Oh sigh :). Enjoy!

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DIETER27 7/30/2013 2:53PM

  Thank you for sharing your delightful journey . it was so pcturesque made me feel like i was there. Glad you enjoyed it and got in your walking too .

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BEEANDHAM 7/30/2013 2:33PM

    I found your blog through another spark friend and it's so lovely! Thank you for sharing, made my day! emoticon

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JRRING 7/30/2013 2:31PM

  lucky girl!

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FIRECOM 7/30/2013 1:48PM

    What a wonderful pictorial story, plus lots of exercise time. Congrats.

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POUNDSAWAY73 7/30/2013 12:23PM

Claire, Such beautiful pictures! They make me want to visit there, bot I'll never be able to afford to go. At least your tour gives me some satisfaction and I love flea markets and yard sales. emoticon emoticon

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MARINAK3 7/30/2013 11:40AM

    This was so wonderful to see--thank you for sharing!

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TEXASPCMAMA 7/30/2013 11:08AM

    Oh, I love flea markets, and I love Paris! The last time I was in Paris I stumbled across some yard sales and found several really lovely things to bring home as gifts. And, a couple of things for me, too - a skirt and some scarves.

Thank you for posting. I love the stories your photos tell.

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GOANNA2 7/30/2013 10:08AM

    That was a great tour Claire. Thank you for
taking me along and showing me this great
flea market. This is certainly a hike as you
did a lot of walking. Through your eyes, I am
able to get to know Paris and its surrounds.
Forgot to say I loved that song and thank you
for the translation.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/30/2013 10:10:15 AM

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FARIS71 7/30/2013 9:16AM

    Oh my goodness I want to be there. That was a marvelous tour. Thank you sooo much!!!

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DESIDERATA~GIRL 7/30/2013 8:55AM

    Nice! I miss going to France! I would go as a kid with my family to France or Spain during the summer months since they are both a ferry ride away from the UK. Looks like you had great fun there! :)

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    Someday I will go to Paris....until then....I have blogs like this one to show me this beautiful city. Thanks!

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MUSOLF6 7/30/2013 6:50AM

    That was awesome, love the pics emoticon

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DUSTYPRAIRIE 7/30/2013 5:41AM

    That was fun! Thanks

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COOKWITHME65 7/30/2013 5:10AM

    I so want to be there! Love the boxes of beads, shellells and numbeers scattered on the ground. Awesome blog. As usual. You never disappoint Claire. You are a talented Gal.

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ROXYCARIN 7/30/2013 3:21AM


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BLUEJEAN99 7/30/2013 1:06AM


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SCRAPBECCA 7/29/2013 11:03PM

    How fun! thanks for sharing it with us!

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CICELY360 7/29/2013 10:40PM

  Nice pictures

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WARRIORGIRL121 7/29/2013 9:00PM

    Absolutely beautiful and so much fun! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Karen

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HAPPYMENOW58 7/29/2013 7:40PM

    Fun! Thanks so much for sharing! Would love to get there some day!

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MARYJEANSL 7/29/2013 6:20PM

  Looks like it was so, so much fun! And yes, congratulations on being able to refrain from spending. It must have been tough - it would have been for me! I am not a big shopper/spender in general, but I do love flea markets, so I probably would have gone overboard with the spending.

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CORNERKICK 7/29/2013 5:54PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

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