The “night market” in the neighbouring village of St. Pompon is a summertime highlight for my wife Jan and me, although these days it is not quite as robust as it used to be. (Aaarrgh! No oysters!) Here’s a quick recap, from my posting of July 6, 2015, “Our favourite night market gets a split personality:”
In case you’ve forgotten, the St. Pompon night market isn’t the usual weekly French marché; it’s not about picking over cheeses, fresh vegetables and flowers. Instead, it includes buying prepared foods (fresh oysters, curries, sausages, paella and much more) and local wine, and enjoying them at rough picnic tables with friends and neighbours and strangers. Dancing to the music provided by a DJ is another big part of the fun — and the event had been attracting all sorts of people.
Unfortunately, as I’ve previously written, the market was sort of a victim of its own success, and has been scaled back a bit. Still, it’s a real attraction, and we were there again this past Saturday night, with friends Elisabeth and Gerhard, Rosemary and Richard, and Suzanne and Mark, all of us nibbling various goodies and drinking wine. Here’s a view from our picnic table, showing just some of the food stalls available:
As time went on, however, our eyes turned up to the sky, because headed in our direction was a huge yellow hot air balloon. Here it is, floating relatively close to the rooftops, on the other side of the main street:
It kept right on going, but soon landed, fairly near the edge of the night market. But then, we were all captivated by another sight — and you can see the surprise and (perhaps) delight on the face of one of the spectators, shown here:
It was yet another hot air balloon, but flying even closer to our side of the market. Here it comes, approaching us over the Mairie, the office of the village’s Mayor:
And before it finally moved off, the balloon got even closer to us, as you’ll see here:
In case you’ve never seen one in person, these balloons are absolutely huge, and they make a remarkable roaring sound when the pilot turns on the gas to create more hot air. It wasn’t exactly scary, but the balloons’ arrival did add a touch of excitement to our Saturday evening.
And then we repaired back to our house, to watch highlights of the day’s stage of the Tour de France, which I had recorded. The Tour, after all, is a tradition.