Tag Archives: shopping

Around the world in 15 pictures

Its that time of year again. The time for all sorts of summaries. And I’ve realized I’ve been writing posts about our round-the-world trip, but that I’ve forgotten to summarize the experience. Now I could write about what we’ve learned, what were the best and the worse experiences, which places are the cheapest and which the most expensive, and so on and on. But I won’t. Not because I have nothing to tell, or because I am too lazy to write, but because I’ve got something much better – pictures. Thinking of it, I will tell you one thing that I’ve learned – you can never take too many pictures. This is how we spent 10 months travelling, in one picture per country.

August, Xmas shopping season is open

August – Christmas shopping in London

Marveling at the golden domes of Kiev, Ukraine

August – marvelling at the golden domes of Kiev, Ukraine

Ein Ovdat canyon in Israel

September – hiking in the Ein Ovdat canyon in Israel

"The Monastery" in Petra, Jordan

September – admiring “The Monastery” in Petra, Jordan

At the Johpur fort in India

October – watching the city life from atop the Jodhpur fort in India

Fishing with the Tharu in Chitwan, Nepal

November – fishing with the Tharu in Chitwan, Nepal

Cycling around in Angkor Wat, Cambodia

December – cycling around in Angkor Wat, Cambodia

In the sand dunes of Mui Ne, Vietnam

January – taking a walk in the sand dunes of Mui Ne, Vietnam

Statue of King Anouvong in Vientian, Laos

February – strolling by the statue of King Anouvong in Vientian, Laos

Diving (of course) on Kho Phi Phi, Thailand

February – diving (of course) on Kho Phi Phi, Thailand
Jurong Bird Park, Singapore

February – spending a morning in Jurong Bird Park, Singapore

Flying dolfin in Kaikoura, New Zealand

March – seeing dolfins fly in Kaikoura, New Zealand

Diving for pearls among the sharks on Ahe, French Polynesia

April – diving for pearls among the sharks on Ahe, French Polynesia

Easter Island - awesome!

May – standing face to face with the Moai on Easter Island

Chillin' in Cuzco, Peru

June – chillin’ in Cuzco, Peru

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Filed under cycling, Round-the-world trip, Travel

Is London just another small European country?

London? Yes, London. You know: fish, chips, cup ‘o tea, bad food, worse weather, Mary fucking Poppins… LONDON.

Of course, one might wonder how come London is listed as a destination in what is supposed to be a list of countries? Well, when I’ve told people where we’ve been to (or were planning going to), I always started with London followed by a list of “proper” countries, and no one was ever surprised. Some people even say they will go to London and from there to Europe, implying that the great city is not even a part of Europe!

The funny thing is that we did not even want to go to London. The only reason we were there is that in the bizarro world of Round-The-World tickets it was actually cheaper to take the train to London, spend the night there and start the flying from Heathrow!

Since we were going there anyway, we had a plan for our visit. Not as extensive as some people’s plans for London, but I think it was a good plan. The plan was to go to Selfridges to see with our own eyes the Xmas department open and running in August and to meet Kristian. Yes, it’s a small plan. But we were only going to spend one evening there, so get off my back!

Kristian deserves a special detour. The guy seems to be on a quest to collect every European country into his resume. Of mixed Serbian, Bulgarian, Spanish and Portuguese ancestry, he was born in Sweden, grew up in Germany and France and Lord knows where else, lives in Holland and co-accidentally he was spending a month in London just as we were visiting there. Can you follow? I don’t. Told you he’s on a quest.

Well, the rest of the story is not that interesting. We’ve met Kristian, had a few beers, went to Selfridges (see the photo’s) and it was raining. London.

August, London Xmas shopping season is open

Yes, they play Xmas songs all day. In August.

The next morning we’ve taken the tube (can’t leave London without taking the tube) to the busiest airport in Europe and the round-the-world tour really kicked off. On to Ukraine!

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Filed under Europe, Just another small European country, Round-the-world trip, Small European things, Travel

European markets

Every Saturday a market is built up and broken down on this multifunctional square in Delft

Not the crashing stock markets. The ones where you go to to actually shop. Although some small European markets do rise out of the ground once a week only to crash at sundown like a Cinderella. A prominent feature of life in a small European country is visiting the markets. Its my weekly ritual, and I try to visit markets everywhere I go. The markets in general and those in a small European country in particular, provide an excellent insight into the local specialities and offer you an opportunity to feel the vibe of the place.

The Cyrillic font above the entrance to this sunny market in the coastal town of Yalta adds a nice touch to the local market experience

 

 

No two markets are the same. For example, do people haggle? Is is a mixed food-non food market? Are there many souvenir shops? If so, it might be a tourist trap instead of a genuine local experience. But even souvenir markets are a proxy of the national spirit, as the trashy junk on sale is nevertheless a distant descendant of the traditional fares and dresses.

Some markets are not for the faint of heart

Markets are a crowded and sometimes smelly place. Some are mercifully arranged in sectors, separating the meat and fish sections from the less confronting fares. Fortunately, European markets are less confronting than, say, Peruvian ones, where guinea pigs are sitting in their cages waiting for slaughter next to the live poultry, rabbits and between the small sandwich-and-soup shops.

Spices stall at the Carmel market in Tel Aviv

While slightly less exotic, the markets in Europe are still a hub of sights, sounds and smells. In Holland, of course, the cheese and herring stalls are widely available, both adding to the aroma’s, especially on hot summer days. Markets in Ukraine have a wide selection of home-made pickles, and in the South of Europe you can sense the spices stalls from a far.

These go real well with the Ukrainian pepper vodka

The central attraction of European markets are no doubt the people. The shouting salesmen of wondermops, rugged potato farmers, bakers and fish cleaners blend together with the flow of customers of all colours, ages and sizes into the market experience you shouldn’t miss. Just remember to watch your pockets.

Markets are the place to be for cheap and/or fake fashion

 

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Filed under Europe, Small European things