Finding a Hairdresser in Granollers

I enjoy going to the hairdresser but I also find it daunting going to a new place.

One of the things that worried me when I first arrived in Granollers was where I would go to have my hair cut and coloured. I tried to put it off as long as possible and every time I went back to the UK I had a hairdo in my old familiar salon. But even I couldn’t stretch the appointments out to be annual ones so I ended up shopping around in Barcelona and in Granollers. But nowhere ever seemed quite comfortable or right for me.

What is so scary about it?

Well there is the issue of how to explain what you want in another language.

And  I thought they might not be experienced in adding colour to blonde hair.  Perhaps I would end up orange!

And then there is the necessity of chatting that always comes up with a hairdresser.

So, after much nervous experimenting and searching I was really happy to find the Carol Bruguera salon

Image I was able to walk in without making an appointment. Not having to plan in advance made it easier to go when I was in the mood.

Then I discovered that they always give you a head massage at the end of the wash. Bliss!  I love having my hair washed and used to resort to blatant flattery just to try and make the washer spend a little more time on it.

“Oh that is lovely!  You are so good at doing that!”  But in this salon there is no need for that – they massage your head, really slowly and carefully before wrapping you in a towel and leading you gently back to the dreaded mirrors.

And lastly there was the extra bonus of having someone who could speak English.  Jacint is not only a great hairdresser and a very funny man but he speaks English and wants to practise it!  He also doesn’t mind if you close your eyes and stay quiet.

All the staff are very friendly and I have never had that awkward Granollers feeling of being stared at by a haughty non-smiling assistant.  And…. after my first year of going there, they even moved the premises closer to my home!

It is now in Plaça Perpinyà and it is one of the reasons I would find it hard to leave Granollers.

If I ever moved back to Cornwall perhaps I would come over here to have my hair cut.

Carol Bruguera

Pl. Perpinyà, 4 (Pl. dels Porcs)
08400 Granollers

Tel. 938 794 016

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the town centre changes

I took this photo when I first visited Granollers in 2009

ImageThe whole city centre was in a state of chaos with streets being closed for building works. We used to cycle everywhere so were accustomed to finding ways through the pot holes and piles of bricks. I now realise that this marked the end of a major transformation of Granollers town centre. The main artery road through the town – leading from Barcelona to Vic – was being pedestrianised. What is now a long wide avenue with shops on either side and bars and restaurants and absolutely no cars, before was a normal two way street. You could drive right into the Porxada Plaça which is unthinkable today with all the cafe tables splayed out across the square and children freely playing football and running around in safety. Where was there room for cars?

And here are the works in Maluquer and Salvador Square outside the library at the same period in 2009.  That’s where the chickens are on market day. I don’t know where they went then.

Maluquer i Salvador Now we have road works blocking parts of Carrer Girona, a road that lies parallel to the main street. The pavements are being widened and perhaps that too will be unrecognisable in a few years.

Street Cleaning

It is easy to see the bad things about a city like Granollers but how depressing to concentrate on them rather than enjoy the good and the beautiful. That’s why I decided to try and write mostly about the positive things in this blog.

However  ( I was clearly leading up to this) I can’t avoid talking about the rubbish problem.

I am out walking every day and tend to go to the parks, along the river and up to the Tower, all places where other people feel free to toss their rubbish, whether it is large like a sofa, polluting like old cans of paint, or small like coke cans or cigarette packets.

What I find both depressing and fascinating is that here in Granollers there is ample provision of places to put your rubbish. There is a large recyling centre close to the centre for plastics and paper and glass and large objects and paints etc.

There are hundreds of litter bins. Our little square has three all in the space of a few metres

ImageEvery street corner has large containers which are emptied regularly

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Recently we walked through the Park Lledoner when the wild flowers were at their best. But all along the path there were papers and plastics and bottles and cans.

People make a big fuss about dog shit but frankly who cares?  It is organic and will disappear.  Plastic and metal will be around for the rest of our lives. Unless someone else picks it up.  People here assume that someone else will come and clean the streets. And usually they do. The workers from the council. Or me!

I gathered up as much as my plastic bag would hold

ImageI tried to do it with love rather than cursing the people who dropped the stuff. Who could do this except someone who is unwell in mind or spirit?  Often the worse piles are right beside the bins. Bags of rubbish that are left underneath.  Is this some angry statement of ‘noone cares about me so I won’t care about them’?

Some people stopped and thanked me for doing it.  Perhaps if more of us began to clean the parks and paths then we could change this strange behaviour?  Come on people of Granollers!  Do you really want a British woman to be cleaning up all your messes? The little square near our house is cleaned every morning and yet when I go there with Bonnie at night – it is covered in rubbish again

ImageOn the positive side thank you the Granollers council for providing so many bins and for organising the cleaning services which are always out on the streets tidying up after the sad minority who can’t walk a few metres to find a bin.

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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!

Veritas

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.

ImageI 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.

El Jardinet

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.

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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 wordsImage

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