Experiencing Amiens: La Grande Réderie
When I first learned I would be living in Amiens, I really didn’t know what to expect. I spent hours researching ma future ville sure that while I hadn’t heard of the French city before applying to TAPIF, it would have many charms to discover. I was absolutely right. Today’s post is my first of several to come in a series called Experiencing Amiens. My hope is to give you a glimpse of a city in France you may not have thought to visit before!
La Grande Réderie was one of the first Amiens traditions I experienced. You’ve probably heard people refer to French flea markets as brocantes. Réderie is a term specific to Picardie (now part of Hauts-de-France), the region of northern France where I live. To be at this flea market is to understand why they call it grande. Vendors from all over the region fill more than a dozen streets in centre ville, the heart of Amiens. There are odds and ends galore, and people come from all over in hopes of finding that perfect unique item (or items…). I heard one father tell his son they were on a chasse au trésor, a treasure hunt. I can’t think of a better way to describe it. I arrived close to the 7:00am start to be sure I would have my pick of the treasures. I felt a bit like a child on Christmas morning. My first French flea market!
I went in with some specific items in mind. My mom had requested a blue enamel French water pitcher (rust and chips preferred) and we both wanted one of those charming royal blue and white French house numbers. I am pleased to report that I left three for three with an overwhelming feeling of success. I even found house numbers with meaning - an 89 to represent the year my parents moved into their house, and a 19 to mark the year Tony and I will be married. While I enjoyed making purchases, I loved the opportunity to simply take in the sights and sounds just as much. There were so many beautiful groupings of objects that caught my eye, and I had a lot of fun capturing the scenes of the day. Through these images, I invite you to take a walk with me through La Grande Réderie d’Amiens. Allons-y! Let’s go!
There is always one Grande Réderie d’Amiens in the fall (this year it was Sunday, Ocotber 7) and another in the spring (Sunday, April 14, 2019). If you happen to be visiting Paris, it’s easy to get to Amiens. Simply hop on a train at Gare du Nord and in just over an hour you’ll arrive in my charming little ville (not so little, but little compared to Paris bien sûr). I can confidently say it would be worth the day (or half day) trip!
Warm wishes from me in France to you, wherever you are in the world. Merci beaucoup for stopping by, reading, and following along.