Season after season, rain or shine, the open-air markets call our name….and they’ve continued strong even through the months of Covid.What’s different about the open-air markets during these times? We’ve noticed a barrier here or there, less pinching and testing of the fruits and vegetables allowed, but the constant is masks.
Our journey took us first to Croatia last fall, where the market felt like a step back in time…with vendors pricing our purchases with little weights in their scales,masks firmly in place.
We added to our mask wardrobe as Covid progressed and they became an essential accessory, frequently washed and then dried on our balcony.Creative types added masks to their inventory of crafts,and we sourced Croatian flag masks for our grandchildren and their friends.Thrilled to return to our Aix-en-Provence home earlier this year, we didn’t lose a minute before returning to our favorite markets, choosing a bouquet for the mantel, planning a menu from the seasons best. Even if I don’t need anything, I love walking through the clothes market on Cours Mirabeau. But from the beginning of April to mid May all clothing and other non-essential stores, including open air market stalls, were closed as stronger anti-Covid measure were put into place in France. The flower and food markets remained open. What a delight when the Cours was again lined with color – now spring clothes fluttering in the breeze!One warm summer day I blitzed through the stalls, finding a few necessary things to get me through the heatwave coming that weekend – spring transitioned into summer, and now creeps into fall, masked marketing still required!
|The best way to describe us (Kirk and Anne Woodyard) is that we’re interested in the stories that make the places we visit come alive.|
We’ve visited Europe more times than we can count, learned some entertaining stories there, and met some warm and helpful people who also enjoy the wonders of music and life in Europe. We look forward to sharing these stories and friends and experiences with our Music and Markets guests.
Since 2003 we’ve hosted Music and Markets tours in France, Italy, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, England and Spain, and in 2019 added Wonder Tours with a more intentional concentration on art and architecture, local culture, food and wine, and less time dedicated to concert-going.We also design and host custom private tours – previous locations include many French, Spanish, British and Italian regions.
Between our music-related travels, we enjoy our home in the south of France. While both of us have experience in organizing travel and music groups, Kirk’s background is in project management and competitive writing, and Anne is an accomplished pianist with over forty years of teaching and performance experience.
Slow Travel Tours is an affiliation of small-group tour operators who offer personalized trips in Italy, France and other European countries.