Marché de nuit, Perigueux Centre Ville, Wednesday 10 August 2011
Wednesday 10 August 2011 – It’s a beautiful ‘hot August night’ and we head in to Perigueux for the infamous ‘Juillet et Aout Marché de Nuit’. I say “infamous” because for the last 2 weeks it’s been cancelled due to appalling weather here. In fact last Wednesday (3rd August 2011) was pretty grey and dismal all day (not at all typical for August) and then at about 6.30 pm the heavens opened with what can only be described as monsoon like rainfall (it was so heavy we couldn’t see the gites from our house – about 10 meters). We’ve seen our fair share of storms (or orages as they’re called in France) since living here and as spectacular as they are with the almost non-stop lightening and thunder we’ve never known one this bad. Our gîte guests thought it was quite entertaining if somewhat scary but seeing the write-up the next day in the local newspaper, the ‘Sud-Ouest‘, it would appear we got off quite lightly with just a flooded kitchen!
Hitherto, back to the main subject of this post – the Marché de nuit! We had a lovely time strolling around the cobbled streets of the Centre Historique in Perigueux. It’s not very often we come into the city during the evening, everything looks so different, the ornate street lights highlighting the traditional yellow stone of the buildings and all the pretty lights of the market traders making it all so inviting. It is the busiest time of year for tourism and they all seem to have descended on Perigueux this evening. The place is buzzing with a great atmosphere and everyone seems to be smiling and having a good time. We stop-off for a coffee a catch the marching jazz band ‘Le Grand Ordinaire‘ warming up at the next table. I have taken a video which I posted on my FaceBook page – you can watch it by clicking this link!
We spend a good couple of hours mooching around the market and the lively ‘old centre’ before heading back to the main high street and a short walk to the car which we’ve parked on the car park at the Allée de Tourny at the top of the town near the Préfecture building.
It suddenly struck, me as we strolled along the high street ”what a complete contrast’ it is here to the streets of some UK cities this evening. The news we’d been watching on TV about the riots and looting in London and Birmingham etc. Seeing our familiar ‘old towns’ being destroyed was shocking and upsetting and made me realise just how peaceful Perigueux was tonight. I know France has had it’s own share of social problems with the Paris riots back in 2005, I just hope it never happens here!
Anyway, If you’re thinking of holidaying in the Dordogne you really must try to get to Perigueux during the Marché de Nuit season – Every Wednesday evening during July and August (weather permitting) from 8.30 pm to midnight in the Centre Historique!