Day 9: Souvenir Shops

Our ninth day on holiday was spent appreciating the work of Anthony Gaudi; a Spanish architect.

You’re probably familiar with his unfinished masterpiece: Sagrada Familia

We also went down to Gaudi’s park, which I’ll be writing more about later on, but for now, I wanted to mention one very specific aspect of our time in the area: gift shops.

Every country has them and they vary in every way. In Laos, there were a lot of weaving shops. In India, pashminas are sold everywhere. In Cuba, wooden figurines are popular (although we learned that this is not at all a traditional Cuban art form). Similarly, in Cambodia, wooden figurines are also very popular. Unfortunately, they’re mostly made from illegally logged wood.

My favourite souvenir shops are Fairtrade run, where the artisans who produce the items are paid a fair wage. From an ethical standpoint, they are where I prefer to spend my money, but also, you can find much more unique items at places like this.

The souvenir shops around the Gaudi museum were some of the more interesting ones I’ve seen. Most of the items found there followed the same artistic style as Gaudi (specifically his broken tile style), and it was all very…..colourful.

Even one of Gaudi’s houses was turned into a gift shop. I’m not sure if he’d approve. He was pretty serious about his work.

Souvenirs are a massive industry. Personally, we always try to bring back useful (scarves or clothes) or consumable souvenirs (chocolate or food from the area). If we brought back a keychain or magnet from everywhere we visited …. It might get to be a bit much!

I’ll be back soon with a post about Andorra; a tiny country located between Spain and France!

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