Sunday, February 11, 2018

Day Trip {La Rambla}

Recently when my mom came to visit, she and I (along with a friend) took a day trip to a town about two and half hours away from here -- La Rambla.  La Rambla is famous for their pottery and ceramics.  In fact, this it the town were many larger companies get their pottery from (Crate and Barrel being one of them).*  And going directly to the source is a lot of fun and saves you the price mark up -- and the prices in La Ramba are amazing!

La Rambla is NOT a tourist destination, it is really only know to those that live in the area (and the Americans here).  It is a small (small) town, so you are only going for pottery.  Lucky for us, many Americans have gone before us and have shared their wisdom (word of mouth and also Facebook groups).  We had an amazingly detailed written guide to help us figure out the best places to go.  We strayed a little from the guide so here are my recommendations for La Rambla:

First things first -- BRING FOOD.  While we did get a few restaurant recommendations, I highly recommend bringing a sack lunch and snacks.  The stores close for comida (siesta) so you will definetly want to use your morning wisely and not stop to eat (snacks are okay) until you are done shopping!  Get an early(ish) start seeing as you only have until about 2:00 to shop until the stores close (we left Rota about 8:30 and pulled into La Rambla about 11:00 -- we moved quickly at each place and it was enough time for us... if you want to spend more time at the stores, leave earlier) and finally, BRING CASH -- some places will take credit card, but not all of them, so it is best to be prepared!

So -- the places to shop!  These are just the four we stopped at but there are plenty more in and around La Rambla, so if you have time -- stop into any store that's open!

El Titi: my personal favorite and right on the main street of town -- be prepared to call the number on the door (numerous times) when you arrive and maybe get help from the various old men having their morning chat or a street worker who knows where the owner lives (yes, this is how we finally got into the store)!  But once inside, it is WORTH IT -- gorgeous color spanish pottery and super cheap (but cash only)

Pepe Mejias: this one is down closer to the warehouse district of La Rambla, two floors of various pottery and outdoor pots and a really amazing collection of more Moorish influence pottery (like things you'd find in Morocco)

Rio Salada: in the warehouse district and has a HUGE selection of different patterns, you could easily spend so much time looking at everything!  Our personal favorites were the gorgeous plain colored pottery, very classic and different from anything else you see in Spain

Navarrete: also in the warehouse district and has a HUGE basement (tell the worker you'd like to go down and see if they don't turn on the lights for you aleady) -- mostly outdoor pots and other outdoor items but does have some gorgeous pottery

A few other notes -- while each place will pack your items, make sure you have it secure in your car so it doesn't break on the way home.  We brough blankets and packed things in the trunk nice and tight so nothing would move around -- the road out to La Rambla is a little rough and tumble :)

*So a friend of mine went to La Rambla and bought a gorgeous pitcher -- she got it home, went to wash it and saw the Crate and Barrel stamp on the bottom!  So yes, I turned over EVERYTHING I looked at to see if I could find one myself :)  (But I was not as lucky)

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