Nearly everyone in the Western World has too much stuff and the Parisians apparently have more stuff that the rest of us.
It’s all fine and dandy if you’re Louis the Sun King and have hundreds of rooms in the Palais de Versailles to fill, but when the time comes to downsize, say when the kids leave home or there’s a French Revolution, what happens to the things you’ve accumulated in a lifetime of shopping? Sure, the Musee du Louvre may take some of it off your hands, but there will still be a lot of clutter up in the attic.
So the surplus gold clocks, teddy bears, Louis XIV chairs and old magazines end up in the Marche aux Puces, the biggest flea market in town, if not the world. It stocks a very high class of flea.
Mevrouw T and I have too much stuff as well, so our credit cards could stay in the safety of our wallets while we browsed.
To get to Marche aux Puces we took the Metro to the end of line 4, Porte de Clignancourt, then followed the signs that directed us north, under the railway line. The initial impression was not promising. Stalls sold cheap sports shoes, luggage, baseball caps and sunglasses, while earnest young men tugged sleeves, whispering about the excellent value of the watches and leather belts they thrust towards us.
When we pressed forward and turned right, things improved considerably. In the covered markets we were suddenly in a treasure trove of French paraphernalia.
The market operates Saturday to Monday. I don’t know how busy it gets at weekends, but Monday was a quiet day – a great relief, because there are few places in Paris which are quiet these days.
We spent a few hours there, and would happily have stayed longer.
For the price of a metro and bus ticket (EUR1.27 each way) we’d filled an excellent day.