The Vanves Flea Market

 We got up early on Sunday morning to head to the Vanves Flea Market.  We had done our research and had been told that the Clignancourt Flea Market was huge and much more expensive than the one at Porte de Vanves.  (We even heard that sometimes the sellers at Clignancourt come to Vanves to stock their booths!)  And we had been advised to get there early, so we arrived around 9 and some sellers were still unloading their wares.  It was also fairly empty (at first we wondered if we were in the right place) which afforded us a leisurely stroll perusing booths.

I didn’t take any pictures at the flea market other than this one of Bobo for the kids….

….but I do have some suggestions if you’re going to go.

– It’s easy to take the Metro do the Porte de Vanves stop.
– The earlier you go the less crowded it is.  This allows you a chance to see all of the merchandise without having to work around other people.  But some vendors might not be all the way set up at this time so it’s a trade off.
– Some vendors know enough English to get by, some don’t.  If you want to buy something make sure you say “Bonjour” first, it will improve their impression on you and might get you a better deal.
– If you see something that you like, ask if they have others similar to it.  One art dealer saw Jason looking at the golf piece below and told him he had 8 more in the set and searched through stacks with Jason to find the others so that he could choose from them.
– We heard that sometimes vendors start packing up by noon (the official hours are 7 am – 1 pm in some areas) but we left close to noon and the traffic was really high and it didn’t look like anyone was about to pack up!
– Some vendors will have some random plastic bags for you to put items in, but it’s most helpful if you bring canvas bags to put your purchases in.
– There are a few cafe’s nearby if you want to get food and drink.  And there was a corner kiosk set up selling croissants, crepes, drinks, etc.

Here are some of our finds from the flea market!

Luminor camera and case

Three watercolor and ink florals from a sketchbook

This golf piece and another to go in the study

Everything we got.  We also got some silverware, a silver pitcher, antique hand towels, and more!
After we took our finds back to the hotel and rested for a few minutes, we headed out to Musee de l’Orangerie to see Monet’s Water Lilies.  They were stunning.  Breathtaking.  Overwhelming.  Beautiful pieces of art.  If you’re ever in Paris you need to go and see them.  They’re spectacular.
After our trip in the museum we enjoyed some time relaxing in the part of the Tuileries Garden next to the Place de la Concorde.  This square has some rather sordid history, but under the blue skies and the warm sun we just enjoyed some time to ourselves!

We tried walking back to the Galeries Lafayette that afternoon to do some more shopping, but were very disappointed when we got there and found out that basically all of the stores in Paris are closed on Sunday’s!  We knew that a lot of things were closed on Monday’s (museums, etc) but had no idea that shops closed on Sunday’s.  So we ended up strolling back to our hotel and getting dinner again at XVIeme Avenue.  We then walked back down to Victor Hugo square for some Hagen-Daas.  There are only so many nutella crepes that Jason could eat!

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