09 May 2010

Saint-Aignan on Saturday

Yesterday was a holiday. May 8 is the day when the Allied victory over Nazi Germany in 1945 is celebrated. There was a festive atmosphere on market day in Saint-Aignan, and the weather was much better than predicted. Rain was coming in, but after noon.

The bridge over the Cher River at Saint-Aignan

We didn't need any more white asparagus, because I bought some at the supermarket a couple of days ago, but I wanted to look for green asparagus for a friend who really likes it. I didn't find any, but the white asparagus was down to 3 € a kilo — half what it cost a couple of weeks ago. The price of the local gariguette strawberries has dropped similarly.

Looking down into the market from up at the château

Anyway, the market was my destination. When you drive to town from our house, you can park the car in a lot by the old bridge. From there, you can walk up a steep, narrow staircase between houses and wind up at the base of the old château.

Steep steps lead up from the river to the château's
thousand-year-old medieval tower


From there you can continue under an old stone archway and down a paved road lined with horse-chestnut trees. You end up at the market, which is being held temporarily in the upper town while the old marketplace down nearer the river is being repaved with cobblestones.

Old stone steps up to the château at Saint-Aignan

You can also detour up onto the main terrace of the château, where you get nice views out over the river and bridge behind you, and over the rooftops of the town just below. I decided I would follow that detour and take some pictures, enjoying the fine weather and nice light.

The rooftops of the old town

From up on the château terrace, you look straight down into the market. I could see that it was busy but not too crowded. Doing my shopping would be a pleasure, and some of my favorite vendors would probably have time for a chat. It was my first trip to the market in a month.

7 comments:

  1. Great photos. I love market days anywhere, always have.

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  2. Oh, I do love a photo of sun sparkling on water :) Great photos today, as always!

    Judy

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  3. Love the new banner picture!

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  4. I recognize those stairs !! (1st photo). They are next to the Hotel du Moulin (Former Relais du Moulin) where we had lunch in 2000(Those were the days).

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  5. I would have to find another market. Those stairs and all that climbing would do me in.

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  6. I was most surprised to see how rapid was the flow of water beneath the bridge. I don't know why I thought that it would be a gentle flowing stretch of water. Is the river always like this?

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  7. Hello Ann, there used to be a mill on the Saint-Aignan bridge, so I think the river is fixed up to cause that rapid flow. There's a spillway just upstream. Only when the water level is very low is the water calm and slow-flowing.

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