La Perla

It’s hot and sunny now here in Granollers. That kind of weather makes me want Orxata.

I went to La Perla in the main street and had my usual Cubano – Orxata with a dollop of coconut icecream. The cafe is across the road with the red awning.Image

There are people who think the other Orxateria is better than La Perla and how knows they may be right but I usually come here because it is on the main street and I can watch people pass by.

I also come here because it is friendlier….they are friendly to me anyway.

There is more information and some different photos here.

Granollers Market

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

ImageI 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

ImageSummer fruits

ImageAnd summer vegetables for escalibada

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Granollers Market – Plaça del Bestiar

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

ImageI 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.

ImageThe 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.

ImageOne 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

ImageThe 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.

ImageTo all the birds in the market – may you find happy homes with good people!

Swing Time

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.Image

The name comes from a play on words Gran=Big and Ollers=Pots. Granollers=Big Potters

Granollers country file

Until fairly recently Granollers was still very much an agricultural town. There are still many reminders of this past if you look for them.  The industry dominates but the countryside keeps us saneThere is a flock of sheep that sometimes ramble along the sides of the river

I made a film of them which you can see here.

Another reminder is the small field that is still worked down by the river near the car park on Ramon Llull.  Here it is a couple of weeks ago just after someone had dumped their old sofa there. I saw a feral cat using it for a place to sleep. Couldn’t get close enough to her to get a picture.  See the beautiful mountains in the background!

ImageI’m not sure what the crop was but I was watching it grow and last week it was cut and left in neat rows. At the weekend they removed it without baling and today the tractor was turning over the soil

ImageThere are swallows swooping down here, and poppies and wild flowers growing along the edges.  I walk along these paths picking up other peoples rubbish. 

In the distance is a patchwork of vegetable plots which I hope very much will never be taken over to build yet more hideous flats or create yet another messy car park. Please leave this peaceful part of Granollers as it is!  Unless you want to knock down the flats and build little houses with gardens.Image

Granollers At Night

Cycling home this evening I passed through the Porxada and stopped to take these pictures as it looks so beautiful at night.  This central square is one of the best parts of Granollers

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It is quiet, not really like a city.  There are people sitting drinking and talking at a cafe and some others walking home or just having a stroll.  The Ajuntament is the Council building.ImageIt is perfect cycling here as it is flat and there are lots of streets with no cars. 

I have a secret pleasure in riding my bike through the centre – it was recently totally renovated and the tiles are a little bit loose in places. They make the most satisfying ‘ptuk ptuk’ as you go over them and I try to get as many as possible on the way home!

It doesn’t work if you are walking.

El Mirallet

We arrived late back from the airport with a friend and looking for somewhere nice to go and have supper we thought of El Mirallet.  It is in the centre of town and has a more lively atmosphere than many of the other restaurants in Granollers which tend to be rather staid.  It was Wednesday and we found it even livelier than expected as it is the night when they have concerts with live music

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We sat inside where it was quieter and had a selection of food and some cold beer.  There are vegetarian choices here which is something special in Granollers and as well as the goats cheese salad, there was a vegetable dish whose name I have forgotten but it was delicious

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At lunch time they also cater for vegetarians with a fixed price menu as well as all the usual food of the region.

Mirallet was opened in the early 80’s as a cheese and wine bar but several years later it became a cooperative with all the people working there being members.  They expanded and started serving lunches and dinners as well as cafe food.  It is situated next door to the Cambridge School Of English so it often has the sound of English spoken and is generally a popular place to go if you are part of an arty or musical crowd.

It’s always friendly and even when busy they are able to conjure up a smile.

This is one of my main criterion for liking or rejecting a cafe!

The Milk Cafe

It’s a nice name and it’s a place I like to go and eat. They have lots of vegetarian options and most important of all they have the only (as far as I know) vegetarian menu for lunchtime in Granollers. It costs 9 euros and has three courses with a drink and pudding. There is a large salad bar and soup for starters, then a choice between three vegetarian main meals, and lastly a pudding which includes the wonderful home made cake with cream!

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It has always surprised me that the place is full at lunchtime. Not because of anything to do with the food but because to find so many people eating vegetarian food in Granollers is amazing. Would be interesting one day to ask some of them what they like about the place. I have never been to another restaurant in Granollers which has a vegetarian option for the main course let alone three.

The address is Milk Cafe, Carrer Girona 4, Granollers and they serve lunch from 1-3.30pm. It is also open at other times for drinks and snacks and the menu includes the usual tapas and sandwiches for this area.

Lazy Sunday at EcoGra

The bad weather of May feels like a distant memory now. It may return if predictions are correct but at least for this weekend it was sunny and hot, the sky was blue and the party on Carrer Joan Prim was a success. At least it seemed so to me but who knows what the takings were for all the stall holders?  Today the street was fairly quiet and calm – for me, walking Bonnie down to the town centre, that was a pleasure, but of course for those who were waiting patiently for customers to arrive with open purses, it was perhaps a different story. Perhaps it is because there are so many festivals here. There’s something on almost every weekend so you could become blase and forget to support them

Carrer Joan Prim EcograI love Sundays and as it was warm and peaceful we  decided to have lunch at the Ecogra and relax at one of the pretty tables set out with lavender pots and tablecloths. We went back to the Falafel stall as it was so good yesterday

Falafel StallSome little boys were taking advantage of the traffic free zone and playing football. A few families were having drinks of beer or coffee. But mainly the people had disappeared – Sunday is family day here in Catalunya and I suppose they were all having big lunches somewhere else.

Music was coming from the loudspeakers that lined the street and today it was smoochy, lazy, jazzy warm Sunday afternoon music. Again I longed for a tango community to come and spent a few hours dancing in the gentle breeze. Maybe next year? We also thought hammocks might be a good idea, to have a migdiada dangling in the middle of the street.

Saturday Night at Ecogra 4

It was like having our own party. We only walked a few yards down the road and were right in the centre of the evening attractions. First there was a concert of mantras sung by Carme Nalini

Then about 50 paper lanterns, containing written hopes and dreams, were lit and sent up into the sky in a beautiful formation of light. It was better than fireworks, so peaceful and gentle as they drifted up into the night, following a curvacious air current.

Then it was Swing time. Granollers has recently started its own Swing classes and all of those people who used to have to travel to Barcelona to dance, can now find more and more opportunities right here in town. The group is called Bigpotters – a play on the meaning of the name Gran-ollers. The teachers are Montse Marti and Miquel Arboix and the weekly classes are at Roca Umbert. For more information look at the Facebook page for Bigpotters Swing.

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There was a chance for everyone to learn some steps and about 50 people joined in. I’ve been dreaming of this moment ever since I arrived here four years ago. Dancing in the streets of Granollers!  Now all we need is a tango scene!