Having arrived back in Montpellier on Thursday March 17th, St Patrick's Day, we were well rested and in fine walking form by Saturday to head to the weekly market (marche) under the Arceaux. "Les Arceaux" is an 18th century aqueduct built to carry water from a nearby spring to the city. Every Saturday, local farmers and producers set up their stalls under these grand arches and provide the residents of Montpellier with the freshest, most flavourful products available in the region. Although the "hypermarche" has become a popular shopping venue here, it is still very easy to purchase fresh, flavourful local produce on a daily basis.
"Asperges" (asparagus) and garriguettes (strawberries) were the main attraction for the shoppers on this particular Saturday, as they are the first regional crops of the spring. The vibrant colours, the enticing aromas and the lively sounds seduce both the seasoned, long time residents as well as the transplanted "etranger" (foreigners) like us, to make market day a regular Saturday event.