La Boqueria

Wandering through a farmer’s market is one my favorite past times, and when we travel, if time allows, we search them out and wander through, taking in the sounds, smells and visual textures.

And one of the most visited markets, the Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, on one of the busiest boulevards, La Rambla, did not disappoint.

Barcelona, Spain on a sunny March spring day.  The morning air is brisk as the sun starts to warm up to the mid 60’s.  We step out of our studio apartment out on the already bustling La Rambla and stroll a few blocks to enter under the decorative La Boqueria arch.  Merchants are busily setting out their wares, preparing their displays, some with the attentiveness of an artist or designer.

Our mission, since we had a small kitchen at our disposal in our hotel, Citadines aparthotel, was to purchase our dinner to prepare after a busy day of seeing as much of Barcelona as we could squeeze into our last day in this beautiful city.  Gregg and I don’t take “relaxing” vacations, so to speak, by the time we get back home, I’m usually exhausted.  Our vacations consist of a lot hiking, whether it is urban hiking or hiking trails.  This final day in Barcelona was no exception.

We finally decided on fresh lubina or sea bass, which we purchased from a woman who was dressed in white angora like sweater, wearing large blue rubber gloves up to her elbows, and a blood spattered apron.  It was a whole fish, and she offered to clean it, so she grabbed her knife, slit the fish belly, and gutted it quickly.  She immediately wiped her gloved hands on her apron,  and accepts our Euros with the blood covered gloves still on.

Upon exiting the crowded, loud market we had fresh asparagus, leeks, spanish olives and Spanish olive oil.  We also had a single lemon or as Gregg said he his best attempt at Spanish, leeemaaan, in our bag.

Gregg, being a creative and adventurous cook, made a delicious dinner, which we ate at the appropriate Barcelona time of 9 pm.

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