Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Largest Flea Market in Europe located in Lille, France (Sept 5)

Every first weekend of September, Lille is the capital of bargain-hunting! The Braderie de Lille is Europe’s largest flea market, and certainly one of the most well-known events in France and abroad. Between one and two million visitors stroll up and down the city streets, entertained by music and the numerous performances that take place from Saturday to Sunday. Also you will see many people enjoying a dish of “Moules and Frites” (mussels served with fries) which has become a deeply-rooted tradition and is the subject of a contest between the town’s restaurants to see who can build the highest mountain of empty mussel shells!

This was actually our second year to attend the flea market and will probably make it a third before heading back to the States since we enjoy these kinds of events so much. We were lucky to have a really nice day and Reagan even cooperated nicely hanging out (snoozing mostly) in her baby bjorn carrier all day. We found a few bargains: a 'Burgundy', France wine holder, oak medicine cabinet, Chimay beer sign, and some baby clothes. It's not only a great antique fair, but it also consists of several garage sale type booths. After wandering up and down about half of the streets lined with vendors, we stopped for a bowl of mussels and fries to help add to the piles around town. We pushed our way through a few more aisles before calling it a day. I think I was more tired than Shannon and Reagan and ended up crashing on the way home.

Does anyone need an old fashion coffee grinder? I can't get over how easy it is to find them here. I already bought one at Tongeren's antique market, but still have fun checking out others.
Mini roll-top oak desk which I thought was kind of cute
Shannon wanted to buy this for the chateau he plans on building someday!
We even spotted a wandering crocodile!
There were an abundance of tin watering cans as well
Here is an antique wooden, I did not try it out!
Some of Lille's beautiful buildings near one of the many streets filled with antiques
Old fashion tea kettles / pots
We came across a cool wooden rocking motorcycle...if only Reagan was a bit older Shannon said!
Pile of mussel shells outside of the restaurant we ate at
Shannon enjoying a pot of moules (mussels) in a garlic cream sauce along with frites (fries)
I actually ate some too...they were really good; actually better than some I've had in Brussels where you're suppose to find some of the best mussels around.
Notice the milk bottle carriers which we like to use as wine holders
African art
Shannon and Reagan stopping for a quick photo with an interesting tower in the background
If only we had room in our apartment for one of these beautiful wooden trunks
Wine / Champagne bottle holders...we actually got one of these in Reims, France. My mother purchased it as an early Christmas gift since she visited Champagne, France with us at the end of August.


Reid said...

Too cool. I had not heard of this event before. Very impressive. Especially the moules piles. They make quite a statement. I am determined to find a troc or something like this sooner than later to attend. Let me know the next time you go and I would love to tag along. Your antiquing skills seem well honed!

Dallas said...

I agree with Reid - that looks like a really interesting place.