Saturday, January 24, 2009

17 ~ The Flea Market

flea market (click to enlarge photos)

Today I went down to the municipal market where the weekly Saturday flea market (rastro in Spanish) is held outdoors on the forecourt and on the roof terrace. I was not one of the early birds because I like to sleep in Saturday mornings without having to set the alarm clock. So after a late breakfast I arrived just before noon when throngs of tourists and locals were perusing the goods offered on open tables. The day was overcast but warm and I was glad I hadn't worn a jacket or woolen sweater.
Note: The branch of pink blossoms in the foreground is from a little tree called Bauhinia Variegata, originally from India and in English called 'pink camel's foot'.

flea market I was surprised at the number of people though and believe that some of them must have come on tour buses from other parts of the island.

flea market I was attracted to the silver spoons and indigo edged porcelain, but I know that I really don't need them any more than the person who gave them up for sale. More spoons and dishes require more cupboard space and I would rather eliminate some of my rarely used items than gather more. But they are lovely to look at and photograph.

flea market I saw many people bending over tables carefully scrutinizing the smaller items but I saw only one person make a purchase while I was there.

flea market I overheard one market seller comment to a friend that business was very slow, so it looked as though many people just came to browse. Here is a display of used furniture and other bric-a-brac. Obviously tourists would not be buying anything from there, since they come to the island by plane.

flea market
The stamp and coin collections are always popular, at least for those who like to look through them. I saw some old five peseta paper bills which I remember from my earliest years in Spain. They were later replaced with coins and still later eliminated all together when Spain joined the European community and adopted the new money. It was rather nostalgic to say goodbye to the old peseta currency. I even like the word peseta better than euro. Peseta has such a Hispanic ring to it.

coin collections I approached the main market entrance, and went inside to look around. This area as well was thronged with people sitting at the small cafe, resting or milling around, glancing at expositions of tablecloths, clothing or handicraft items. Everyone welcome unless you were a dog!

market entrance
I went to have a look at the stamp display of a man who said he was a collector and not a vendor. He seemed to be quite busy though with people who were interested in what he had on show. I'm sure he came to barter and trade with other like-minded people who shared his hobby. He said he was there every Saturday at the same place, and like me, he didn't like to get up early on a Saturday, so if anyone wanted to contact him, it had to be after 10 am.

stamp man
Since I needed some vegetables for making our Sunday dinner I stepped on the escalator and went up to the second floor. It was also very busy there, but the displays of fruit and vegetables were a treat for the eyes. As is my custom, I walked first around the perimeter without buying to have a look at what was offered in each stall.

fruit & veg
Here were lemons, chayotas and potatoes. Chayotas are a soft-skinned green vegetable with a mild, subtle flavour used often here in soups and stews. They grow quickly on sprawling vines which I once had in my garden and had to remove before they engulfed my other plants.

In the fish stall, a Moray eel lies between sardines, red mullet and other locally caught fish.

fish & eel
A gourmet shop exhibits a varied selection of olive oils and herbs.

olive oilsInside are imported European ecological products.

ecological products
A line has formed outside a German deli offering wurst, sausages, pickles and potato salads as well as other typically German foods.

German deli
After I made my purchases of new potatoes, green spring onion, tomatoes, cucumber and sweet orange yams, I headed back downstairs to the outdoor forecourt. It was almost one pm and the flea market was quite deserted. The vendors were packing their goods into small vans and it was time for me to drive home.

flea market
I know that if I were to come here more often I would have to buy a second refrigerator! I cannot resist the bright colours and fresh scents of the fruits and vegetables on display and want to buy a little of each one. At least we are then obliged to have our five vegetables or salads every day, which can only be a good thing!

These photos were taken with the small point & shoot Olympus Stylus 800 camera.


Jo said...

Omigosh! These pictures are wonderful...! I feel as if I could step right into them. I can't imagine living in such a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful part of the world.

I would love to see more pictures. I will be back. Coming to your blog is like a little mini-vacation. :-)

Canarybird said...

Thank you Jo! Yes it is really beautiful here especially when the weather is so mild year round!


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