Tag Archives: market

Saturday in Mexico City

Feb 24 – Our hostess, Rosario, fed us a five star breakfast, with warm fresh brown bread, cucumber juice (yummy), fresh yogurt, pancakes with warm raspberry jam, sliced banana and a huge mug of strong coffee. Fuel for the day!

Walking out in the morning, we encountered many poor men sleeping barefoot on the street, and beggars grinding street organs for spare change. No upscale buskers here. Our first excursion was to the National Palace, a magnificent structure longer than a city block that includes a cultural museum.

The Fountain of Pegasus.

Here, the artist Diego Rivera painted huge murals all around the second story, back in the 1920s. He hoped the Mexicans would unite as Communists to make their lives better.

The Spaniards branding slaves.

Not sure what the turquoise feathered guy is doing with that arm…

I listened to an English tour guide describing this one to his group. Karl Marx is at the top, like God. The pipes are filled with the blood of the Mexican workers, which turn into money for the government at the bottom. The priest kissing the prostitute on the left represents the corruption of the Church, which should be helping the people, and likens the Church to the Nazis by showing the line of crosses with a swastika included on the right.

Below, the good Communists, including Rivera’s girlfriend Frida Kahlo (with the eyebrows), are taking charge and teaching the poor children to read. Thank you, tour guide. He was the only we one we encountered today who was not guiding in Spanish.

I liked these little sculptures, and the two big ones flanking Jim.

In the afternoon, we walked through several markets, which underscored just how poor this country is. We saw lots of energetic selling, but very few were buying. A peso is worth about five cents, or 20 to the dollar. We wandered into an area where small animals, birds, puppies, hens and goats were packed together cruelly, and a man, seeing our cameras, shouted at us to leave. We left.

We are only spending a few days in the city before flying south to the beach. We have mastered the bus system, and tomorrow we will take the subway (Metro). The other travelers we met at breakfast said we are brave to try the Metro. I’ll report tomorrow!

A Day in Tbilisi

2/8 – How you know you are in a post-Soviet country:
1. Buy an apple
2. Wash off the apple in the hotel sink
3. Drop the slippery apple into the sink
4. Observe the result

They just don’t make sinks like they used to!

Today we walked down Rustaveli Avenue, the main avenue in our part of town, to see what we could see. image

The streets are wide, and the drivers aggressive, like New Yorkers, leaning on their horns. Pedestrians aren’t permitted to cross the street, but use pedestrian underpasses filled with small shops and panhandlers. There are more old women begging than we’ve seen in a while. The souvenir market is set up daily on the wide steps of one of the ornate but deserted buildings, and includes artisans working on new paintings as they sell their wares.

We hear western music, in English, and see that there is an affinity for American things here.

The buses have seen better days.image

There are staid, old buildings, amid flashy new hotels and casinos. Casinos seem to be a big thing here. We looked into one, but they took my camera, (as well as inspecting my eyeglasses for hidden gadgets!), so no pix.

Some statues and wall art:

The golden statue is St. George and the Dragon. He is very popular with the Greek Orthodox.

We stop at a Greek Orthodox Church.

We walked by the museums of modern art, archeology and Georgian history, but don’t go in. I’m not sure I’m up for this exhibit.image

We have lunch at a cafe advertising authentic Georgian food. We figure we better have some, as we will only be here one more day! Beef stew, a warm corn pie (a big hush puppy), cold spinach balls, and cold eggplant, decorated with pomegranate seeds. Very tasty. image

Tomorrow we will return to the train station for an overnight sleeper to Baku, Azerbaijan. From there we will determine if it is possible to book passage on a commercial ferry to Kazakhstan. We’ve read many blogs about the complexities of this leg of the journey, and will remain flexible if it turns out that it can’t be arranged in the 10 days permitted on our Azerbaijan visa. The main focus is to get to China before the end of February. Stay tuned!

Kas – the Market and the Marina

12/19 – We weren’t inclined to exert much energy today, happy to sit on our little terrace gazing at the ocean. But life demands action, so we skipped down the 131 steps to find the market and see what’s available in town. Jim’s hiking boot has developed a serious hole, so it would be nice if we could find a shoe store here.

131 steps
131 steps

This is a modern town with a regular supermarket, as well as produce, meat and fish shops, but on Fridays the town hosts an open air market with stalls selling food, clothing, bedding, and hardware in addition to fresh produce. We stocked up on fruit and veg, had a cup of fresh squeezed pomegranate juice, and delicious gözleme for lunch. I particularly like these little dough pancakes filled with spinach, cheese, potatoes and chopped meat. Yum!

We did find a shoe store, but the man laughed when Jim asked for a size 13 boot… We’ll have to keep looking.

Kas is all about the beach, the boats and the marina. There are many boats for hire, including glass bottomed boats that will take you out to see underwater ruins. The sea is a spectacular shade of blue.

The sea wall is a work of art.

Right down the road from our apart is a sign inviting us to climb up to see Lycian tombs carved into the rocks. How could we resist a peek? The first tombs were at the top of a staircase, then we had to climb up the rocks to see the rest. The scrabble up was harder than it looked.image





The tombs were broken into and looted long ago, but you can’t help be curious about who these people were. Couldn’t find any info on the exact age of these tombs, but they are probably first or second century BCE.

Can’t end the day without showing you another sunset – if you get tired of these, let me know!


Sunday in Split – the Riva

11/9 – here we are, back in summer! We left our quiet, pedestrian street, walked through the open-air market, and one block to the waterfront.image




The Split waterfront, called the Riva, has been compared to the Promenade de Anglais in Nice, and I can see why.

The town centers around Diocletian’s Palace, built in the year 300 by the Roman Emperor, as his vacation home. After the fall of Rome, the local people moved into the palace, and it is still in use today, filled with shops, restaurants, hotels, apartments and private homes.

In the palace is the Cathedral of St. Domnius, or St. Duje, the patron saint of Split. It was originally to be Diocletian’s Mausoleum. It is said to be the oldest cathedral in Christiandom, in that it has not been renovated or built over. St. Duje is interred in the sanctuary.





The carved wooden doors depict scenes from the life of Christ. There is a museum dedicated to the artwork on the doors.


Across from the sanctuary is the very small and plain Temple of Jupiter. Not sure who is actually buried here. A statue of John the Baptist hangs over the crypt.


The Cathedral is adorned by a tall tower, added circa 1200, that can be seen from any point in the city.image



As we are in the province of Dalmatia, I was pleased to see a local canine, sporting his spots:image

A beautiful town – so much to see!





A Day in Porto

9/24 – Porto, on the Rio Douro, is a beautiful, vibrant city with lots of blue tile murals depicting its history. Here are some pix from our day.

The open air market:

The train station Estacio de Sao Bento:

The churches:

The riverfront:

The iron bridge was designed by Gustave Eiffel, who also built the Eiffel Tower.

And Jim and Karen out on a beautiful day:



Tomorrow, back on the trail!