My husband and I arrived in Barcelona at 7:30 in the morning. That is something I’m not sure I would do again. One of the things you’re supposed to do when travelling through several time zones (we are eight hours apart) is to follow the new location’s as closely as possible. This was pretty hard because it meant being awake for another 15 hours after arriving! So what to do?
Well, like most travelers, we headed for La Ramblas. La Ramblas is basically a wide pedestrian only street with thousands of tourists and overpriced souvenir shops – very pretty with flower stalls but not particularly my cup of tea. But it’s what’s off to the side of this street that is very interesting and one of the most interesting is La Bouqueria.
La Bouqueria is a market – a foodie’s “wet dream”. The following includes excerpts from the following web site: http://www.boqueria.info/index.php?lang=en
In Catalonia, towns and cities have been founded around markets and the same rings true for La Boqueria. It originated as an open-air market, in front of one of the gates of the old city wall (Placa de la Boqueria) where fruit and vegetable traders from local towns and farms near by would sell their products.
As the market’s popularity grew, farmers from neighbouring towns, such as Les Corts and Sarrià were stopped from trading here. As the competition within the market grew increasingly fierce, there would be arguments and fights between the old greengrocers and the new ones.
Today the products at this market vary greatly: fresh fish and sea food; salty fish; tinned food; butchery and offal; birds; game and eggs; fruits and vegetables; herbs; delicatessen; breads and pastries; restaurants; frozen items; artisan products; charcuterie; farmers’ shops; wine; and even a Greek and an Italian hand made pasta stall have joined the consortium/maelstrom that keeps La Boqueria alive.
In 2005 La Bouqueria was awarded the top prize for the best market in the world by the World Markets Congress held in Washington DC. Now they have even added a cooking school!
Needless to say we enjoyed spending several hours staring, sipping and eating the delicious food this market had to offer. If you ever get a chance to go to Barcelona don’t miss La Bouqueria.