A few days before Easter our little family was finally on the same continent, and better yet together again. We caught up on family time and stayed home for the holiday, hosting a lunch with some friends. The next weekend, however, we were ready to travel again… just not too far.
Just an hour and a half away in Metz, France there was going to be an antique and flea market so we jumped to go. That is one wonderful thing about living here. On a Tuesday we can decide to leave the country for the weekend and off we go!
The marches aux puces start quite early in the morning, and although last time we went we did the drive in the morning, we decided this time to go the night before and stay in a hotel. This was a good idea but also a bit of a bad idea… Brock fell asleep in the car so when we checked in Friday night at 7:30 he was wide awake and running (more of a limp thanks to his leg cast coming off the day before) around the hotel room. At almost midnight he finally tuckered out.
By 7:30 in the morning we were at the market and gazing on treasures. Both of us had a list of things we were looking for and I was much more successful than Fil! I wanted a spice rack/shelf and boy did I luck out. I looked at 2 or 3 sets and then found the perfect one, complete with a shelf, bottles for oil & vinegar, and jars for chicory, rice, sugar, vermicelli, flour, cinnamon, spices, pepper, thyme and vanilla. As soon as we got home I dusted it off and hung it up.
The last time we went to this market we were too tired to go into the town and explore but since we were able to sleep in a bit more we were excited to check out the marche couvert (daily market) and the cathedral most of all.
The marche couvert was very reminiscent of Pike Place Market in Seattle. The market is just outside the cathedral inside a “U” shaped building. Outside of the building in the mornings are pop up stands with fresh fruit and vegetables- some I had never seen before.
Inside the building was countless butchers, bread and cheese shops. Both of us said we wished we had a cooler and ice with us so we could have bought some of the goodies.
We stopped at one stand and enjoyed a tray of charcuterie (delicatessen) and cheese. A perfect late morning snack.
Next stop, Metz Cathedral. This cathedral is the third tallest in France and has the most stained glass in the world. Built from 1220 till 1520 it was a structural feat. Seriously though, there is 69,920 square feet of stained glass in windows that stretch up towards the sky. We have visited many cathedrals but this one was different. It is one of the tallest and the height of the windows is unmatched. That combined with the narrow chapel made this cathedral feel different. I felt as if I was in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty with the tall, thin castles, windows and characters. It was truly stunning. The windows in the center chapel depicted the saints, and the decorative windows along the outer walls were tributes to others of the church.
Part of us wanted to leave Metz on a high note so we opted to just head home instead of exploring more and tiring ourselves out. I insisted on getting an éclair before leaving and found a delicious one at this little shop that had the most decorative chocolates in the window.
We both have found that our impression of this part of France, although limited, is that the countryside is absolutely beautiful but we could pass on the cities. We loved the markets and the cathedral but did not really feel the need to wander the streets and find more gems. It just did not feel as welcoming as Germany does. That being said, we both cannot wait for the next marches aux puces so we can find more treasures and we are beyond glad that we got to experience the Metz cathedral.
After months apart, Brock breaking his leg while home in the states, and a long winter we were very excited that a little trip was a success. What’s next for us? Aside from cleaning off all the winter algae and moss from our sidewalks and patio and prepping our yard for summer, tulips in the Netherlands and a rubber duck race in Luxembourg! Springtime is filled with so much beauty and fun over here and I am excited to share it with you.