Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Marketplace: Lonely Planet Blog Carnival #23

The theme of this Blog carnival is a journey through a market or bazaar anywhere in the world. These thoughtful and exciting stories unravel life in the marketplace experienced at different times but all coming together here for you to transcend from wherever you are at this moment to where the Lonely Planet Travel bloggers think you would love to be!!

David Bennett of Quillcards tells us the story of the Changing Times In The Largest Indoor Market In Europe as he describes the Kirkgate Market in the center of Leeds in Yorkshire in the north of England.

“As long as I have known Kirkgate market it has been the province of ‘working class’ Leeds. Some people in Leeds never shop there, preferring to shop in more upmarket places. So to see Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food in Kirkgate market helps to bring about a paradigm shift in the way markets are seen.”

Jennifer Hattam of The Turkish Life recollects her experience at an Uzbek bazaar - the Chorsu bazaar area at Tashkent in Uzbekistan which she had noted down as a journal entry during her travel there in November 2004.

“We dipped our fingers to taste honey dripping from a knife and spices sold out of canvas sacks as nearby vendors sat and churned huge vats of a marshmallow-like substance and offered tastes to passers-by.”

Brandon of Freewheelings writes about the Mysticism in an Indian Bazaar sharing an enlightening experience as he sat at a chai (tea) stall bench in the middle of a New Delhi bazaar in North India.

“All the noise of the contemporary bazaar for that moment stopped, all the movement.  It was just me and that bench amidst a sea of uninterpreted perception, a procession of thought imagery.  I had, for that moment, no question to pose to the universe and no quarrel.  For that split second I had tapped into what I believe to be the collective unconscious."

In A Leap Into The Dark Aubrey Groves writes about the Camden Market in North London set on and around the canal.

“It is full of trendy stalls with some of the wackier designer clothes, music, hippyesque handicrafts from around the World, antiques, and an excellent array of cheap food stalls reflecting London´s multiculturalism.”

Anuradha Shankar of a Wandering Mind writes about the historical Hampi Bazaar in South India

“From gold and diamonds to horses and cows, the markets boasted of a variety which impressed even visitors from foreign shores! These marketplaces weren’t like our roadside shops, but well planned and well laid out areas, paved with stones, with residences for the merchants as well stables for their mounts!”

Erin Ridley of La tortuga Viajera writes about Madrid’s markets – about El Rastro, a popular market in Madrid’s oldest neighbourhoods as well as about the Mercados which she says are a hybrid between grocery stores and farmers markets.

“Spanish fans, stinky cheeses, fanny packs, fresh fruit, wine by the glass and of course antiques. Madrid’s markets have something for everyone – and a market for everyone.”

Julie from a Lady in London explores more than one market at Lady goes to Market She takes us to the Boroughs market, the Exmouth market, the Leadenhall market as well as to the Camden market.

“There are at least four vendors selling ten different kinds of fresh olives, multiple bread bakers, a handful of specialized cheese shops, two wine stores, a smoothie bar, and a Scottish meat counter. Free samples are given generously, and one could eat an entire meal on bits and pieces alone.”

Louise Heal writes of the La Boqueria – Barcelona’s premier food market

“La Boqueria also does a great line in bars and restaurants. It's not a place for a full meal, rather for a tapas selection of whatever-takes-your-fancy or whatever the chef is doing today. The chalk blackboard menus are testimony to the changing selection.”

Barbara Weibel of Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel describes for us her walk along the Mekong river in Chiang Khong, Thailand.

“In the center of town, vendors sprung up along either side of the street in an unbroken line that stretched as far as I could see. Not the normal trinket sellers, these vendors specialized in food. Plump, fresh fruits. Glistening piles of hot peppers in red, green, and orange. Gelatinous sweets coated in shredded coconut. Piles of wide, flat noodles – phat sie eww – coated in black bean sauce and piled with fresh veggies. An astounding display of culinary delights that stretched for a mouth-watering mile.”

Jeff Funnekotter of the Big City Blog tells us about the Albert Cuyp market - a Street market in Amsterdam that started in 1904.

“The characters are real-life, seasoned market-hawkers - mostly very friendly, some gruff, always authentic and fair (this is not one of those markets where you haggle).”

Charlotte Beauvoisin of Kampala days – diary of a muzungu writes about two markets in Uganda, in the Human Safari and all its smells and in Justice in the balancing act

“Saturday evening leaving the Old Taxi Park is as crazy an African scene as you’re going to encounter. It’s exhausting. People call at you from all sides, traffic – bikes, boda bodas and matatus – come at you from every direction simultaneously. People and vehicles groan under the collective weight of their wares and purchases.”

At any time, there is as much to discover in our own world as in another part of the world. And yet, we yearn to travel and to explore territories we know little about outside of where we live. What then? You come back to where you started and find that more than anything else, you’ve discovered a way of looking that you did not know before!

Hoping that readers will share their own experiences of the marketplace, their discoveries and their insights!

Thanks to all those who’ve contributed to this Blog Carnival! The posts included here are from participants in the Lonely Planet Blogsherpa programme that includes the Best Travel Bloggers from around the world selected by Lonely Planet. Do check out the  previous Blog Carnival hosted by Nina Fuentes on the theme Has traveling changed you. The next Blog carnival will be announced here soon!

Read about:
Fish market at Sasoon Docks
Flower market in Mumbai
Udaipur City
Bollywood Posters

Friday, April 08, 2011

Udaipur city

There are times when you think about how travel has changed you and how places become memories and how every recollection makes beauty rise again to change you one more time. I had just begun to meander that morning by the Pichola Lake wanting to simply walk along the streets of Udaipur city in that light that I had discovered the day before, a light that seemed to belong only to the morning, the light that fell on the Lake Palace, creating most of its charm, the light that let the water dance on the walls of the many pavilions beyond.

As much as I admired the view from my window, of the Lake, the Palace and the Pavilions, I wanted to be out on the streets behind the first row of havelis by the lake to see what happened on the facades of houses when the sun had risen only half an hour yet and was just making its way further up in the sky.

I had been walking not so long when I came to a bifurcation in the road and decided to ask an autorickshaw driver which way was Hathi ni Pol. I thought that would be a good direction to head towards, since it was a stretch lined with shops and perhaps some of the shops, just the tea stalls and the dhokla-poha places would be opening up and I imagined there would be people reading their morning newspaper by the street.

He showed me the road to take and in passing mentioned that nothing other than the Mandi (vegetable market) would be open at this time. The Mandi?? Where was the Mandi, I wanted to know. He said it was not within walkable distance. He could take me there, if I would want him to. I jumped into the autorickshaw. I could look at the streets and the havelis later!

In a little while, we reached the market. It was smaller than I had expected. But, I was happy to be there. I walked around slowly, trying to look as inconspicuous as possible, which didn’t quite work. I realised later that this was not the touristic part of Udaipur. It was where the regular life of the town was. Here, people who belonged to this town came to buy their fruits and vegetables. This is where they came to buy bamboo baskets, which were now shimmering in the light and took all my attention.

I stood within the mandi and its people. There was a mist in the air and through it the sun came into the street. Women vendors were unpacking bundles of greens and sacks of tomatoes. It was such a quiet market square at that blissful hour of the morning. Few people spoke to each other as they arranged their goods. In one corner, children played and chatted with each other. I looked on. There was something about that morning that told me that there was more quiet in the world than I knew. I was so glad I had come here.

This post is part of the Lonely Planet Blog Carnival hosted by Nina Fuentes of Just Wandering.  Do check it out at ‘How travel has changed you’!