Placa Reial and La Boqueria

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Walking through the Barri Gotic (the oldest part of the city established by the Romans in 210 B.C.), we stumbled onto Placa Reial (placa in Catalan is a square such as piazza in Italian) and admired the famous black fountain and lamps designed by Antoni Gaudi. They were his first commissioned work and are still standing in the square.

We wandered to La Rambla, the most famous street in Barcelona and found the market pointed out by Robert Hughes in "Barcelona, The Great Enchantress." The Mercant de la Bouqueria was established in the 1700s as an open air market along the city walls. I've linked to the market's website and its history which is fascinating.

The selection of fruits, veggies, nuts, meats, cheeses, eggs and pan is absolutely amazing. We bought a plate of melon to share that was sweet and juicy.

Also along La Rambla, tourists see a line of pet stores which run like refreshment stands. You walk up, select a bunny or chicken, parkeet or hamster and take it home. (Don't worry, the animals were not being sold for meat as far as I know.) I couldn't believe it, though. Where's the demand for so many pets? There were probably 10 stalls lined up, one after the other.

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