Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires...courage.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, May 30, 2008

El Rastro

When I arrived in on Sunday morning, the hotel did not yet have a room ready. I could check in at 11 a.m., two hours from now. No hay problema. I’ll just walk about for a bit. I quickly realized that none of the local shops were open. Not only that, but no one was on the street or sidewalk. I was for the most part, alone. I took a few pics of the local shops along the way as I walked with no real direction or care for where I was going. Then I hit it. El Rastro. Suddenly and without warning I was face to face with what seemed like the entire population of Madrid. It appeared to be an impromptu flea market that was set up in the street that had obviously been closed down for this weekly event known as "el Rastro". I hit it right at 10:00 when it apparently starts, and already the place was packed with tents of people selling all variations of useful and not so useful items, both new and “not quite” new.

The photo below unfortunately doesn't capture the energy of the moment. In it is a table piled high with used clothing marked, as you can see, 1 euro each. around it was this gaggle of people frantically grabing an item, giving it a brief look and either cramming it under their arm or throwing it back onto the center of the table where the process started over again. This mountain of clothes was literally disappearing before my eyes.
There were also tents selling fruits and vegetables.
And, of course, there were spanish olives.

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