Barcelona Mercat de la Boqueria - YouTube

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Barcelona Mercat de la Boqueria

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Uploaded on Feb 28, 2007

http://www.tourvideos.com/ Occupying a city block filled with food and shoppers in the center of Barcelona, the Mercat de la Boqueria food market is a Great Public Place that is fascinating any time of the day, but especially worthwhile early in the day when not much else is happening in town. Most of Barcelona does not open until well after breakfast, except for this busy place, located along the famous Rambla boulevard, which in itself is another Special Space to explore later. The market begins to stir from 6:00am when the first merchants arrive and a few coffee counters open inside the hall and just outside, making this about the only place in town available for a pre-dawn caffeine fix. The market is fully up and running by 7:00am and stays open all day, making this a great place to hang out, watch the colorful action, get a coffee and maybe pick up some snacks for your busy day ahead.

Even if you are not an early-bird, don't need any food and have no interest in architectural history, simply walking through this market is a rich adventure for your senses, passing row after row of perfectly displayed fruits and vegetables arranged by workers who really care about visual impact, color and aesthetics. At the same time you are immersed in the bustling atmosphere of busy shoppers and merchants calling out their specials in booming Spanish tones to seize attention and entertain the crowd. Odors fill the air with a constantly changing palette as you walk from cheese to fish and on to the fruits and veggies. You will get a sensual overload of sight, sound, color, motion, aroma and taste, for an experience not to be missed.

Housed in an old-fashioned steel and glass structure first built in mid-19th century with an elaborate steel construction in the Modernista style of one century ago, the Mercat de la Boqueria resembles other great food halls once found in Europe's major cities, nearly all of which have been torn down or converted into shopping malls. In many ways these food hall structures were the first truly modern buildings, using the engineering technique of glass walls held together by steel frames which has subsequently dominated urban architecture.

While most of the market's products are meant to be brought home and cooked, the intrepid traveler can certainly find fruits, nuts, cheese, breads, sweets and other great items for snacking during the day that will cost less and be more convenient than meals purchased in a restaurant. There is a lot to be said for munching on simple foods pulled out of your pocket while walking along sightseeing, and so far, no medical reports have suggested there is anything unhealthy about eating while you walk. Of course you are going to want to sit down and enjoy some great meals but not necessarily every time you get hungry, especially outside normal meal hours when your appetite and slumping energy level call for some attention. Several small counters offer excellent, quick meals and a chance to rub elbows with some talkative locals. Eating at a simple café like this is a refreshing contrast to the long wait for table service in a typical restaurant, because everything happens immediately in front of your eyes when you sit on that stool, especially when they are not crowded.

The continued existence of this venerable structure is another fine example of the intact preservation of Barcelona's historic center. Its archaic glass and steel design looks like something out of an old movie but the market continues to play an important role in the modern daily lives of shoppers getting their daily fix of fresh, healthy foods. Most shops of the Gothic Quarter have sleek, ultra-contemporary interiors behind their old facades, unlike Mercat de la Boqueria, where you step back into the 19th century. While the decorated façade is visible along the Rambla, it is recessed from the street and gives no outside indication of the treasures to be found within. If you are not intentionally looking for the market you might miss it, so be on the alert for this must-see attraction.

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