So, today I thought you may like to hear about shopping old-style here in Lanzarote; more particularly the markets. The Recova Market is situated in Arrecife, the island's capital, close to the City Hall. The market we visit today is the modern one which replaced the original, established in 1871. When the first Recova opened, investors and traders were photographed for posterity, and years later those images were reproduced on the walls of the shady walkways leading to the new market. The information, in three languages, doesn't tell us a great deal about their identities but two of them are thought to be the father and grandfather of the famous artist César Manrique, the architect of the island, about whom I have written in previous posts. Here his father is wearing the white trousers and riding a donkey and with the grandfather to his left.
In 1874 the town hall expressed its gratitude to the fishing and urban industries of the city by naming the street Calle Vargas in honour of the original owner of the building, and fixing a memorial plaque on the facade of the market entrance.
The market had three entrances and three galleries with eight openings which faced onto a central courtyard, with three water tanks and a pump for seawater. Another courtyard had a manger, slaughterhouse, graze room, tool room and lavatory. There was also a room for the selling of meat with two rooms either side of it as well as four 'lonjas' - fish markets and grocers' shops. The establishment boasted tools such as heavy duty scales and a set of weights.
Several dignitaries and clerics were photographed on camels and in the above picture you can see the seats which are still used today by the camels who take eager tourists along the Timanfaya trail.
This is how the market would have looked when it was busy and bustling, although I think this picture belongs to the twentieth century judging by the length of the skirts. The lady in the foreground is wearing a typical Canarian hat, still used by the workers in the fields, very necessary and extremely practical.
The market was closed for more than twenty years and recently re-opened as an artisan market with a café. I'm sure you don't need me to tell you what trade is being plied in the picture below.
On the morning of our visit most of the stallholders had not yet opened for business, but this lady was keeping an eye on the café. This link will take you to more colourful pictures of the market.
On one of the busy shopping streets of Arrecife there is a haven of peace and calm to where we like to escape the busy shopping streets for a cup of coffee. Built in the tradition Canarian manner around a central courtyard, the stalls and booths for small shops are all around, both on the ground floor and on the upper storey.
Figs are coming to the end of their season just now and these can be bought at the farmers' market, along with fig jam, a preserve which is eaten with traditional Canarian cheeses. The outdoor market at Mancha Blanca has permanent booths for the farmers to set up shop, this is a modern version of the one we would have seen at the old Recova market in Arrecife. This weekend it's the Fiesta de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores. The island's patron saint is celebrated and the point is marked where the flow of lava from the last volcanic eruptions in 1824 came to a halt just outside the village of Mancha Blanca. People often walk on foot from all over the island as part of the pilgrimage and huge crowds, mostly in Canarian dress, converge on the village. There will be markets, food stalls, timple music, singing and dancing and the sun will be shining.
If you haven't done the weekend shopping yet you can take your pick from the wonderful store that is Sepia Saturday.