The Villeurbanne market was such a fun adventure! We were out the door by 6:30am- way early for the french on a Sunday! We took a little detour down to Lac Leman before we set off on the autoroute. We arrived at the perfect time and the weather was fantastic, in the 50s and sunny. For anyone who is interested in seeing this market I have to say that is was very easy to find the exit from the autoroute it is clearly marked and signs are posted for "puces du canal" as soon as you exit. If you get there early parking is fairly easy- just along the road or canal. The setting of this market is not very charming, kind of industrial, just as you would expect to find on the outskirts of any large city, but we didn't mind since we were not there to the beauty of the area but for the market. The Market itself was a treasure trove, within a few minutes I had already found a fantastic collection of 1950s french lace trim. Amazing finds continued all morning, at around 12:30pm we had finally finished making the rounds and were ready to check out some other areas for inspiration. Lyon, located in the Rhone department and situated halfway between Paris and Marseilles, is the second largest city in France and finding out way back onto the auto route proved challenging, luckily a nice older couple in their 80s, who I now refer to as my "French grandparents" were kind enough to let us follow them back onto the autoroute and point us in the right direction.
Driving in France is generally quite easy as everything is clearly marked just as it would be here in the states. One thing that I would say is very important is having at least a basic amount of French in your vocabulary, it was very necessary to speak French especially in the market itself or even just filling up at the petrol station, this area of France had less english speakers than Geneva which is much more international. And even in an international city like Geneva it is preferred that you at the very least make the attempt to speak French. It is a good idea to greet each vendor as you look at their wares and as a guest to the country and obvious non-native speaker it is best to use more formal french to show respect.
To purchase any of the fantastic things I found at Villeurbanne or Plain palais contact me to set up an appointment to come to my studio/home or keep a look out on the etsy account in the next week or so.