Archive for June 22nd, 2014
Los Cristianos Sunday Market Is Wide Open

Some might call it an ill wind that has brought some good and some would say it’s a welcome wind of change but either way Avenida de Londres is the new home (at least for now) of the Los Cristianos Sunday market.
Even in the less scorching winter months the popular collection of around 600 stalls at the Los Tarajales end of the old beach could get very claustrophobic and sweaty. Rumblings of discontent from the Arona Ayuntamiento grew louder until the original market was shut down on Sunday 8 June 2014. There were so many diverse objections pitched up you could be forgiven for thinking the council just wanted it closed no matter what. The trading area had reportedly spilled out over the original boundaries, there were health and safety issues over access, and inadequate toilet facilities, so the council claimed.

After the closure many doubted it would return but a lot of hard work and lobbying by the organizers, including a demo outside the town hall, brought a swift compromise and last week (15 June) it reopened at short notice a short walk away going up the hill between the two roundabouts beside Victoria Court. So with the second week under way I nipped down for a look around, the first thing I noticed coming down the hill was an ambulance and a cluster of mobile toilets, clear signing, and wide spaces between the rows of stalls. It seems it would not just be the traders breathing easier.

For those who haven’t indulged, it’s pretty standard fare, cheap replica fashion and sports clothes, watches, electronic gadgets, hats, and more Aloe Vera than you can shake a plant at. Everybody loves a bargain, particularly in these hard times, and it’s also the thrill of the chase, elbows working overtime as some good old fashioned rummaging takes place. I expected to see bargain bins of Spain and England World Cup souvenirs, you probably couldn’t give them away now. It was so nice to be able to stroll up and down the stalls with room to perform a lavish musical number if you so wished. The breeze was very welcome and down each side there were breaks in the stalls so people could dip out at easily to grab the shade of the palm trees.

Each intersection was clearly marked, there were market officials identified by their t-shirts to offer help, and one of the nearby apartment blocks was doing a roaring trade in cold drinks and snacks. I spoke to a few friends who were working stalls and they were pleased with the new set up, some of them must have sweated pounds off at the old site. They also told me that pretty much all of the former stall holders had got themselves a new pitch.

The only cloud on the horizon is the uncertainty, they have a provisional agreement for 6 months but there is still talk of returning to base camp or being closed again. With less than a year to go until the local elections, councilors are trying to be all things to all people, and will be keen to please the various nationalities working the stalls and also keep local bars and restaurants happy with their big boom day of the week. For now though it looks like an improvement to an outsider like me, you can check it out for yourself from 9 am to 2 pm every week.