As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, we aren’t fans of cruise ship organized tours. We’ve taken a few but prefer to ‘do our homework’ prior to a trip and set out to explore a port of call on our own.
That is why our first stop in Pape'ete, Tahiti was its "Le Marche". We'd arrived on an early morning in October, the first of three stops in French Polynesia on board the Celebrity Solstice.
Shortly after docking, we set off on foot to find the town’s public market, Le Marche, as part of our own walking tour; one that filled our morning hours. The afternoon was spent on a bus tour – that we booked independently on shore – and we rounded out our day with a fabulous meal on shore before returning for our 9 p.m. departure. (the dinner I told you about a few weeks ago.)
We wandered the market’s aisles first north and south, then east and west; upstairs and downstairs. There was no doubt, it was a 'real' market for locals – not one filled with tourist trinkets and souvenirs as evidenced by the products for sale.
From vegetables. . .
To fruit. . .
And fish. . .the market was alive with color and smells. It was just the first of many sensory overloads we were to experience in the South Pacific.
But the sight that made my heart skip a beat, was the overwhelming flower displays. . .those tropical stems that can cost $10 or more each back home in the States. . .
The towering bouquets above could be had for 2,500 French Polynesian Francs, about $29US.
Fragrant, colorful bursts. . .
Flowers, flowers everywhere. . .including halos for the hair. Again, this wasn’t just for tourists (although a few halos were later spotted on ladies from the ship). One of the prettiest sights in these tropical islands were the flowers being worn in the hair of local ladies – young and old.
We have more Tahitian tales for you and those will come in future posts. Remember that local tour I told you we booked on our own? Well this was the vehicle in which we rode. . .but that story is also for another time. . .
If You Go:
Le Marche is said to be the island's oldest surviving institution. It is located in the heart of the city, a few short blocks from the port. It is open Monday to Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sundays until 9 a.m. (a busy time there when families stock up for their Sunday meals).
We are linking up today at Budget Travelers Sandbox for Travel Photo Thursday
and with Travel Photo Discovery on Monday
and Sweet Shot Tuesday .
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Until then ~ Happy Travels ~ Joel and Jackie