.All Trips / Europe / Food / Italy

Lunch at Madrid’s San Miguel Market

01 Madrid’s San Miguel Market (1)

We  stumbled upon this market as we were wandering around Madrid, rather than my usual method of researching and then visiting.  Our first glance of the San Miguel market is what you see above.  An attractive building of steel and glass that, to me at least, seemed inviting. 

Mercado de San Micuel is close to the Plaza Mayor in Madrid.  The market opened in 1916 and while not large, is spacious, bright and quite lovely.  About ten years ago, after a change in ownership and a remodel, the market transformed from a general market to an upscale venue that focuses on premium food products.  As such, it’s a popular place for locals and tourists to pick up lunch or a snack …

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.All Trips / Asia / Dubai

Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai

02 Souk Madinat Jumeirah (2)

There are many great markets in Dubai, with no lack of opportunity for shopping.  Some markets, like the Mall of the Emirates and the Dubai Mall, are modern and could be found in almost any city in the world.  Others are uniquely Arab, including the original and traditional outdoor markets, like the spice and textile souks.

The Souk Madinat Jumeirah is sort of a hybrid of these concepts, a re-creation of an Arab market but with modern amenities, set by the sea, adjoining the lovely Burj Al Arab hotel.  The place is quite lovely, with traditional wind-towers and sand colored construction.  Shops and restaurants of a great variety are available, …

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.All Trips / Asia / Food / India

A Day in the Chandni Chowk Market, Delhi

01 Chandi Chowk Market (17)

One of the oldest markets in Delhi — and perhaps the busiest in all of Asia — is Chandni Chowk, which is close to Delhi’s Red Fort.  The market was, in fact, originally designed in the 17th century by Mogul Shah Jahan (who was later to build the Taj Mahal) so that his favorite daughter would have a place to shop near their home in the Red Fort.  The shopping area originally had around 1600 shops, but has been completely rebuilt over the centuries and is now an extensive and expansive market area.

Chandni Chowk’s market is known for is its great variety and authenticity: food (especially street food and sweets), clothing (sarees, suits), electronic items, shoes, books, jewelry, car parts …

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.All Trips / Europe / Slovenia

A Visit to Ljubljana’s Central Market

00 Central Market, Ljublana (43)

I recently visited a wonderful fall market in Ljubljana, Slovenia.  It was a pleasant Saturday morning and we’d been told that this was a market not to be missed, and not to wait until the afternoon and especially not until Sunday because the market dwindles at those times.  Like all good markets, it’s a place where the community gathers and enjoys itself, and we were told it would be “busy” (it was).

We left our comfortable rented apartment and walked to the market, about five minutes away.  Ljubljana has a beautiful historic core and it’s a lovely place to explore on foot.  Much of the historic region is a pedestrian only zone, so it’s safe and easy to get around.  There …

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.All Trips / Asia / Food / India

Delhi’s fascinating Spice Market (Khari Baoli)

01 Delhi Spice Market

My favorite market in Delhi was its spice market, which happens to be Asia’s largest spice market.  The market straddles Khari Baoli, a street near the Red Fort.  The street’s name is derived from ‘Baoli’, meaning step well, and ‘Khari’, meaning salty. 

The market dates to the 17th century.  Many of the shops have been in the families for a long time, some even run by the ninth- or tenth generations.

Like all good spice markets, Delhi’s is fragrant, colorful and tempting.  Besides a large variety of spices and herbs, you can buy other food items like nuts, tea, pasta and rice.  Everything is beautifully displayed.  

Delhi's Spice Market (Khari Baoli)

Delhi’s Spice Market (Khari Baoli)

Khari Baoli is extremely busy — lots of shoppers, traffic, and workers carrying heavy sacs of spices to …

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.All Trips / Europe / Food / Spain

A Market in Barcelona’s Gracia Neighborhood

Gracia Market, Barcelona

Having visited Barcelona’s huge and busy La Boqueria market, an interesting place but teaming with tourists rather than residents, I made a point of trying to visit a smaller community-oriented market in the city during our week’s visit.

Gracia is a small neighborhood within Barcelona that doesn’t have any major tourist attractions within it.  It’s a place in which people work and live, rather than a tourist destination.  We walked through Gracia on our way to Gaudi’s Park Guell and passed a community market on our way, so we popped in.  I wish I’d noted the name of the market, but sadly I did not.  

In any event, it’s a great market.  Much smaller and more intimate than La Boqueria, …

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“Pic of the Week”, September 28, 2018: Dubai’s Textile Souk

00 textile souk, Dubai (2)

Situated in the Bur Dubai, adjoining Dubai Creek, is the Textile Souk.  This is a pretty market district located within a restored traditional bazaar, its buildings and walkways shaded by a wooden roof (the shade providing welcome relief from the almost unbearable desert heat). There is a main central lane to the market, with side alleys leading to smaller shops.

Most of the shops are now operated by Indian (rather than Arab) traders and the merchandise sold varies from the colorful bolts of cloth (cotton, silk, some embroidered), dresses, blankets, slippers, and assorted Dubai souvenir items.  Bartering is expected and often lively.  Many of the shops have tailors who can sew you a dress or shirt and have it ready before you depart …

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.All Trips / Asia / Food / Sri Lanka

Exploring the Pettah Market, Colombo

00 Pettah Neighborhood Colombo Market 04-2017 (56)

I love to explore markets and walked a few miles to see this one — the Pettah Market in Colombo.  Situated in an older portion of the city, the market extends over several blocks in the Pettah neighborhood and caters to local residents, not tourists. In fact, I think mine was the only white face in the market.  The market was lively, filled with colorful produce and interesting smells, and full of conversation and bartering — as any good market should be.

The fresh produce was beautiful, featuring what was in season, notably pineapples, wood apples, papayas, watermelon and lots of different types of bananas.  A huge assortment of vegetables were piled on the ground or on low tables and a …

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