Sunday, November 4, 2012

Lots going on during Todos los Santos

Thursday, All Saints Day in Spain and France. Unfortunately, this will be the last time it is celebrated in Spain as a national holiday because of the austerity measures. Next year it will be a regular working day. There were lots of visitors in the port with people sitting on benches or walls just soaking up the sun. The scuba diving boat that we haven't seen at all lately made at least two trips today. 

There were even more people in the village on Friday, which was market day. As well as the two fruit and veggie stalls there were many other clothing, hardware and jewellery sellers at the market. There were so many people in town that we couldn't even get parked  to do our shopping. This is a relatively rare occurrence even in the summer. All day people strolled around, visited the shops and caught some sun.

On Saturday afternoon, we decided to visit Figueres once the shops were open. As we drove along the highway we could clearly see the beautiful snow covered far Pyrenees. River beds that were completely dry until torrential rain last week were now bursting.

The Ramblas area in Figueres has now been deemed a tourist site. It is very close to the Dali museum and in fact this should have happened a long time ago. Businesses in the area are are allowed to stay open over the lunch time. The huge tree lined square in the Ramblas is often the site of various festivals. This weekend it was the First Modernista Fair taking a leap back in time to the early twentieth century at the beginning of modernism. The vendors in the many stalls lining the square  added to the atmosphere by dressing in turn of the century clothes. It was a delight to wander around and admire and smell the various stalls selling cakes and baked goods, artisanal cheeses, Serrano hams, huge tubs of olives of every shade of green, orange and black, jewellery, candles, herbal concoctions for every imaginable ailment and toys. One stall had a huge pan of different kinds of white beans with some prunes and the most delicious smell of spices simmering away. Several people were enjoying this for dinner. Others stopped at the crepe stall for Nutella crepes.

We passed the roast chestnut stall to watch the biggest barbecue that you could imagine. It was cooking different kinds of sausages, pork and huge slabs of spareribs. A huge seating area was set up at the end of the Ramblas and people were dining on the barbecued food accompanied by big hunks of fresh bread and sangria or beer. It smelled quite wonderful. This project is to help revitalise the Ramblas. I think it worked. I've never seen so many people in Figueres, many from nearby France. It certainly created a lovely atmosphere.

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