Let’s move to another part of the market where there are no cages.
Right down at the end of the main shopping street we arrive at Plaça Corona
I don’t always make it as far as this but today we did the whole stretch. The crowds begin to thin out down here. There are plenty of cafes with space for tables and chairs outside while in the town centre the stalls take over the whole street.
Back in the Porxada there are fruit and vegetable stalls under the shade of the old market
And summer vegetables for escalibada
Here we are – it’s Thursday again and the market is in full swing.
For the sake of this blog I forced myself to go and visit the caged birds
I am too sensitive to their plight and usually avoid this end of the market. If I had come here in the first part of the 20th century then I would have had to deal with animals of all sorts being bought and sold. Now there are mainly flowers and herbs and olives and a few birds.
The square outside of the library is called Malluquier i Salvador and was used as the cattle market as in the old days it was outside the city walls.
There are only a couple of stalls selling chickens and ducks and I suppose it could be worse. People come here from the countryside and perhaps they have gardens and ponds.
One little boy was asking for a duckling ‘Vull un anac! Vull un anac’ and his mother was about to buy him one. I wonder where it was going to live
The official name of the square is Malluquier i Salvador and the local name is Plaça de Can Sinia. The library runs along one side of the square and is housed in a historic building called Can Pedrals. And underground there is a large bomb shelter from the civil war.
To all the birds in the market – may you find happy homes with good people!
Wherever I live I am always drawn to the health food shops and Granollers is lucky to have several, the biggest of which is Veritas.
It’s actually a chain of supermarkets, started in 2002, and now there are 23 shops in Catalunya. Veritas was founded by 4 Catalan families with the aim of providing healthy, more ecological and non chemical food. In the UK health shops don’t tend to sell meat, but this is normal here and Veritas has an ecological range of meat products in the chiller section. Organic meat is expensive in Catalunya but it’s good to know there is a market for it even though the main supermarkets haven’t taken this on board.
This branch is very friendly and you can have a coffee and cake in their little cafe which is rather basic but ok and has tables by the window. I think a notice board would be a useful addition but that is also not so common as in the UK.
It’s not a cheap option to buy things in Veritas but in general prices are high for vegetarian or ecological products all over Catalunya and here they have a wide range.
I took this picture because of the Bimbo van. The name always makes me laugh but of course it doesn’t mean the same in Catalan. Bimbo has been producing sliced packaged bread since 1964 from their factory here in Granollers. Before Bimbo this type of convenience loaf didn’t exist in Catalunya or Spain.
This is a flower shop on our street at Carrer de Joan Prim, 101. They are very friendly and helpful and I am welcome whether I am spending a few euros or a lot more.
The owners husband is British so she speaks English and she understood when I moaned about the lack of choice in flowers in Catalunya compared to the UK. For me there are not enough ‘normal’ flowers like roses or anemones or sweet william. The shops are more used to people buying bouquets for special occasions rather than wanting several cheaper bunches for vases in the house.
However, this shop is my favourite place when I decide to get flowers.
And I really like their idea of having quotations on the blackboard to help you when you need to write a card
Sometimes a flower is worth more than a thousand words
I have dreamt of learning to dance Swing ever since I arrived in Catalunya. There are plenty of classes in Barcelona and earlier this year I went up there every week to do a beginners class of Lindy Hop. But what I really wanted was to dance in Granollers. I knew there were dancers here but they also were always travelling to the big city. It seemed noone wanted to start classes here.
And then….my friend Montse decided to take the plunge and open a school of Swing here at the Roca Umbert Arts Centre. She and her dance partner Miquel teach classes there on Mondays and Wednesdays. See them on stage at the EcoGra on my previous post
Last Spring they did a few events, dancing in the street and handing out leaflets, and soon there were enough people signed up to run not one but several classes. We are lucky that there is also a successful and thriving swing scene in nearby La Garriga and with the added bonus of a jazz band to play live occasionally, we were off!
More information is available at the Facebook page of Big Potters Swing.
The name comes from a play on words Gran=Big and Ollers=Pots. Granollers=Big Potters
There is a lovely Facebook page called Imagina’t un Granollers amb + color
I don’t know who set it up but it is such a good idea. The pages are full of suggestions for how to make Granollers a more creative and colourful place. It is possible. It depends on the people who live here and what they dream of!
Imagine painting your house in bright colours.
Or putting colourful plants on your balcony to share with the passers by
Or acting to preserve the beautiful old buildings rather than see them knocked down to build more flats.
Or even going out wearing clothes in other colours than the predominant black, brown,grey and beige!
Yes I have a feeling Granollers is changing
I want to write about the shops in Granollers where I have found good service. Remember I am not the typical shopper – I look for friendliness above all and especially that the shop keepers don’t treat me like an alien because I am foreign and stumble over my words.
I don’t want to get into naming and shaming or describing the negative experiences I’ve had (although perhaps I will be tempted sometimes) so these posts will be mainly about the good places I have found.
Saras butcher is hidden away on a quiet back street on Carrer Tarafa. I only recently started going there since starting to feed my dog a raw meat diet. I am vegetarian but do occasionally buy organic chicken for humans
The woman who runs the shop – is she Sara? – is very friendly and helpful. She was genuinely interested in finding things like chicken necks and meaty bones that I can give my dog and she even went out on the street to say hello to her.
There is another butcher closer to home who are polite to me but they don’t smile much or chat at all and I always feel nervous and awkward going in there as it is clear they don’t warm to me. So I now chose Saras every time and am greeted by a cheery ‘ Hola guapa’ which makes the whole experience much more pleasant. A butchers shop is not the favourite haunt of a long time vegetarian so it is saying a lot that I actually almost enjoy going in there.