Thursday morning in the middle of a fantastic sunny holiday. My husband Bill was getting the bike hire sorted out for a ride along the canal, so I walked up to the village centre with the kids and had a look round Le Boulou market. We had fun naming the produce in French using an online dictionary (I used to know them all - must brush up!). My eldest David was really keen to try some of the local sausages, which weren't too hard to find!

We took all the advice regarding the strong sunshine - hats, sun cream, long sleeved shirts for the children, and I had my big straw hat with my wicker basket - not trying too hard to look the part, of course...

As we were staying in the centre of the village, it only took about three minutes on foot to get to La Rambla, the main street.

 

The market seems to transport you to a magical idyll of the south, teeming with people, olives, meat, cheeses, fruits and vegetables really everything you could wish for. My daughter Amy spotted a a floral dress she set her heart on and she got the chance to try it (and then of course buy it!) in a little dressing room. It was actually in the sales and turned out to be a good bargain!

 

A gentleman called Pascal ran the charcuterie stall, and David seemed to understand everything he was saying about all the different sausages he was being offered on a variety of little plates. A bit of sausages flavoured with olives, goat cheese or walnuts here, some matured ham there, We ended up buying rather more than I intended. We walked along the street under the palm trees and I bought tomatoes, aubergines and peppers on the advice of Francine, a Catalan farmer, to try the famous escalivade, a local recipe something like ratatouille.

 

With a full basket we were just going to the Tourist Office to pick up some cycling maps when the aroma of paella stopped us in our tracks. It almost looks like Spain in the pictures!

We all really loved the Mediterranean market atmosphere, and we picked up a list of markets in the area, and we really liked the look of the market at Céret, which we visited on the following Saturday morning.

We have grand memories of our morning at the market, and Bill is still sorry he didn't come. We had a lovely bike ride in the afternoon, so his efforts weren't entirely wasted!