La Boqueria, Barcelona

They said we should visit the market early in the morning. Early, does not really apply to us, a happy family on a summer holiday vacation, eager to experience the vibrant diversity of life, and what a life could be found in Barcelona!

Sunny and warm, this is a city that never sleeps. Life floats through leanly architectured streets, zigzagging its way from a blue haven beach, through Gothic medieval quarter, to Parisian-like high-end luxurious shopping streets.  Yet, unmistakably there are uniquely “Barcelona” signs wherever we may go. From the famous Gaudi buildings, to the tapas-bar restaurants leisurely inviting us on every corner, to the Catalonian flags gracing the windows and the smiles of the beautiful people passing by.

So much to see, so much to experience. Days and nights merging long memorable hours on a string like a necklace of pearls.

Hence, we are no early risers. We take our time for breakfast, enjoying the stunning roof-top terrace view and savoring every bite from the delicious display of food. Our hotel 1898, at the La Rambla is only a mere five minutes walk from the famous La Boqueria market. We pass its iron gates just around noon and our senses are immediately assaulted by colour, aromas and noise.

It is a real market. One, that has been in operation for hundreds of years, seeing generation after generation passing by. Nothing seems changed, yet still… It is so beautifully nostalgic to see the elderly ladies, well dressed and coiffured, meeting and talking to each other gossipping and caring, not at least in a hurry to go back and cook at home. Life is simple and peaceful, and in this instance, delicious. Fresh fish, crab, lobster, seasonal vegetables and fruit, exotic tropical mangosteens, lamb and pork meat, nuts and sweets. The display is endless.

A colourful bar around the corner, transforms the sea-food catch of the day into an irresistible temptation, while people line queuing for a chance for taste. I am drifted away through the stalls dreaming, if only I lived around the corner…, if only I could buy this…., if only I could cook… La Boqueria is a dreaming place for every person passionate about food and a daily visit for many others lucky to be calling it a home.

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