Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Girona, Spain

Girona Spain is a small university city about one hour north of Barcelona. I chose to go on market day - Tuesday - when two markets happen. The first market is a handful of fruit and vegetable vendors that open outside the covered market. They surround one side of the covered market on Tuesday and Saturday mornings. The covered market is a mini version of La Boqueria in Barcelona. A building housing close to thirty permanent booths, there are many fresh fresh fish stalls (so fresh nothing smells like fish), more fruits and vegetables, and my favorite, the 0% Gluten booth. What a thrill - gluten-free goodies of all kinds from croissants, baguettes, cookies and cakes to pizzas and pastas. Needless to say I made a purchase.

The other market is huge and happens in the park in northwestern Girona. There you can find all sorts of food as well as what feels like miles of clothes and household goods. This too is open Tuesday and Saturday mornings.

After the markets, I went onto the old part of Girona to the Jewish Call, the old Jewish quarter of the city where for centuries, Jews and Christians lived harmoniously until the 15th century when the Call became not just their neighborhood, but the only place they could live in Girona. In 1492 the Catholic kings threw all the Jews out and they were forced to leave this warren of stone buildings and streets. Today there is a Museum of Jewish History housed where one of the old synagogues stood. The Call makes for wonderful walking.

Call is a Catalan word used to mean quarter or neighborhood, derived from the Latin, callis, meaning street.

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