Although we’ve been where we are, about ten kilometres outside Albox in Almeria, since September – we haven’t really experienced the local Tuesday market. Up until this week it has just been an annoyance to be diverted around in the car, or placing crowds between me and my destination on foot. I thought I’d change that and have a wander round this Tuesday.
The stalls had pretty much everything you could imagine from clothes through to pots and pans, firewood and local produce. The range of goods available really impressed me, and what impressed me even more was the prices. The prices here, in comparison to the Canaries, are so much cheaper for just about everything. The local Mercadona compared to the supermarkets are cheaper for most things than we paid back on the island. Day to day items such as clothes, shoes and other household goods are even more so. The wares available on the market were again significantly cheaper.I’m not a ‘shopper’ by nature, but really enjoyed spending some time meandering around. Unlike the major markets in Lanzarote, excluding the farmers markets, the market here is not a tourist trap. It doesn’t actually cater for tourists in any way shape or form; why would it? Whereas back in Lanzarote, Teguise market and our local one at the Marina Rubicon in Playa Blanca consisted mainly of sunglasses, handbags, local crafts and the usual souvenir trinkets, the local market here reflects the huge differences between what is a working town and what is a tourist resort.
Walking around though, more so than the range and the prices, what I really enjoyed in the hour or two of meandering around Albox was the atmosphere. Normally, although we are told that it changes in summer, the town is very quiet. This isn’t the case on market day when it seems that many of the residents from the area descend on Albox. Bar’s and cafés are full to the brim; people jostle round the narrow streets between the stalls; you can hear greetings being thrown constantly, often from one end of the street to another, and the local Police and the Guardia wander the streets smiling and chatting with the locals.
This feels ‘real’, one of the things we were hoping for in our move into the backwaters of Spain away from the tourist resorts. We’ll be going down to the market more often after this!