Fans, Castanets and Flamenco Dresses: A Real Taste of Spain
Market Shopping on the Costa del Sol, Spain: More than Fruit and Vegetables
Market Shopping: Spanish Style
Fans, castanets, flamenco dresses and flamenco shoes are prominent features of a Spanish market stall. But there is much more to attract both the resident and the tourist to this particular twice-weekly village market on the Costa del Sol. It is filled with vibrancy and so much c
La Cala de Mijas, Costa del Sol, Spain
These stalls are present at my favourite outdoor market in L
Market Stalls Opening Times
The market is open every Wednesday and Saturday morning, except when the weather is unusually extreme with heavy rain. Normally, though, you can stroll under the roundabout on the edge of the village, across the road to a large flat open space on which regular stallholders display their goods. It's the place to go every week to get your taste of Spain.
In the hot, sunny weather the market is heaving, not only with the locals buying their fruit, vegetables or spices but the tourists too who are looking for typically Spanish gifts to take home as a souvenir of their holiday.
The Police show their presence and stroll u
In the background you can see properties that are unfinished or for sale or rent. The area has been hit by the poor economic trends but the market remains full of life. There is colour everywhere.
Take a walk with me through the Market Stalls, down one side, along the bottom and back up to the Entrance.
At the entrance to the market you will see a stall of large canvas shopping bags, ideal for all the 'bits and bobs' you might be tempted to buy. Next you'll be surrounded by lots of very good value
The next stall is covered with all kinds of sweets, a real treat for the children. Move on to the next stall and you'll find necklaces in boxes, 5 Euros each or 8 Euros if you buy 2 necklaces. It will be cheaper in winter. There are also bracelets and earrings to match.
Move on to a stall full of leather handbags, leather purses and brightly coloured clutch bags. There are styles, shapes and colours to suit all tastes. There'll be more handbag stalls further on, so wait until you've done the round trip before you make your decision to buy. I've made that mistake before and found I could have saved one or two Euros further down the market stalls.
You'll come upon a stall selling lace tablecloths, round or rectangular and a whole variety of table runners. If you're there at Christmas time you can pick up some cream or white table runners with red and gold embroidery on. They are ideal for your dining table either in Spain or at home. Put it on your table and it will bring back memories of your trip to La Cala Market Stalls.
Next you will find a market stall with leather belts for both men and women. Here the stall holder will alter the belt to your measurements. On the same stall you will be able to buy sheepskin slippers or sheepskin mules, and, of course, the inevitable leather handbags.
I could see the next market stall from higher up the market as it is covered with hanging flamenco dresses in reds, blues and greens. Black spots are everywhere on the dresses and there are sizes for young girls as well as older mums! Spanish ladies love the opportunity to wear these flamenco costumes and the ideal occasion is the Verbena y Romeria, the street party and pilgrimage, in October when there is a large procession to celebrate Saint Teresa Day, the Patron Saint of La Cala. You'll also find fans, castanets and flamenco shoes to match the flamenco dresses. What could be more traditionally Spanish? And the flamenco music is blaring out from the stall crammed with CD's next to it to add to the atmosphere.
A Spanish market would not be authentic without a Ceramics stall, covered with pots, bowls and dishes of all sizes and vases, too. The patterns may have changed slightly over the years with a recent addition including some black colouring but the styles are unmistakably Spanish. And you can still find the traditional blue colouring.
You will always find a market stall full of huge tubs of olives. Both black and green large olives are readily available and the Spaniards and the tourists clamour to buy vast quantities.
There are many clothes stalls including casual sports clothing for men and women, sweaters and cardigans, tee shirts, men's shirts and trousers and jeans and lots of cropped trousers. There are brightly coloured leggings, too. Sun hats and hats suitable for golf adorn the stall and there are even skirts suitable for the serious belly dancer!
Plenty of household s
A market stall filled with traditional African wooden carvings is ideal for the tourist seeking authentic souvenirs. North Africa is just a short boat ride away and, on some days, you can see the outline of the North African coast so African products are readily available.
Finally, back to the entrance you'll find the freshest fruit and vegetables you'll need. Large juicy Spanish tomatoes, mushrooms,butternut squash, onions, potatoes and apples, oranges, water melons, nectarines and pineapples, all the choice you will need. And you will see the Spanish buying from the stall, a sure sign it is good quality and good value!
Before leaving this superbly atmospheric market, you can try the roasting nuts that you could smell further down the market stalls but you might find it more appealing to sip a glass of chilled white wine on the sunny terrace of one of the nearby cafes, either in the sun-drenched summer months or even in January when the temperature is pleasant enough to sit outside.
A tour of La Cala de Mijas Outdoor Market on either a Wednesday or a Saturday is a fantastic way to spend a leisurely hour or more . Meet friends, people watch, soak up the atmosphere of a typically Spanish market and don't forget to buy your fans, castanets and flamenco dresses for that special celebration.