Vegetable market, Kavarna, Bulgaria

Kavarna Vegetable Market, Instagram and a Humble Plea for Advice Please

I just made a terrific salad whose ingredients are all pictured here. It was purely by accident; this photo was taken at a vegetable stand at a small market in Kavarna, Bulgaria, in October 2012 and my salad was made and consumed just about an hour ago.

While I was tossing it, the smells were so fresh and profound that they reminded me of a photograph.

“Oddly, I’ve got a photo of this salad somewhere,” I said to myself. Yes, I do use words like ‘oddly’ when I converse with myself over the kitchen counter.

And, oddly enough, it didn’t even take very long to track it down.

I’ve never been fond of snapping pics of or publishing food porn. I’m sure I’d get more visits and Pinterest pins if I did, so maybe I’ll start. I don’t really like the term foodie either. But that’s a whole ‘nother topic that I don’t have time for today.

I’m catching the 21:20 overnight train to Zurich, so I gotta get packing. One goal I set for myself is to become a more regular Instagram devotee over the next ten days during my stay in the Swiss financial capital. That might even mean photos of meals.

So tell me please: should I, or shouldn’t I? I fear that once I start down the food porn trail, there will be no going back.

By the way, today’s Pic du Jour is the 210th (!!) straight since this project was relaunched seven months ago. Click on the image to see the full uncropped version.

Fruit stand, Medellin, Colombia

Fruit Stand, Medellin

Colombia produced 7.98 million metric tons of fruit in 2010, a near three-fold increase since 1970. Some 50kg is represented on this street vendor’s stand in Medellin.

Today’s Pic du Jour, the 189th (!) straight, was snapped on 05-June-2013. Please click on the image to see the full uncropped version.


All images © Bob Ramsak 2013-2014. All rights reserved.
For stock or editorial use please get in touch.
For print purchases please visit here; for greeting cards here and post cards here.



Ljubljana Central Market, July 2014

Ljubljana Central Market II

Today’s Pic du Jour, the 181st straight (!), was shot after hours this afternoon at Ljubljana’s Central Market where I still proudly rule as Mayor. On Foursquare, that is. I’ve curtailed my visits back from six per week lately but still maintain a market-related photo album on Google+ when I’m in town.

This was taken on the market’s west side just as The Cart Lady came by. I see her frequently, often as or immediately after the market closes, when she’s collecting discarded food which she later feeds to the birds. She was the unwitting star of a 60-second video I shot in 2011. Do check it out.

Ljubljana, Slovenia, 12-Jul-2014



Video: 195 Seconds at Ljubljana’s Christmas Market

Ljubljana’s December holiday carnival has been on the receiving end of growing attention in travel and holiday circles, and for good reason. The light display is phenomenal, fanning out in all directions from the Slovenian capital’s historical city center, connecting a network of gift stands, food stalls and mulled wine stands.

Service with a smile, always.

Service with a smile, always.

It’s a popular time for locals who meet up for get-togethers throughout the month, but others are coming, too. On weekends there’s nearly as much Italian and English heard in the streets as there is Slovenian. German, Japanese and Chinese is not too uncommon.

In all 64 kilometers of light sculptures are strung around the old town center for which the city shelled out €166,000, or $228,000. Live music will be featured in five squares throughout the month while the lights and stands will remain through New Year’s day.

Here’s a quick video –195 seconds quick to be exact—of shots collected over the past few days to give you the general idea. It’s a bit on the dark side, for which I apologize; it’s also heavy on sausages, for which I do not.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Mercado Central lunch rush. Sucre, Bolivia, 08-Apr-2013

Lunch Rush at the Central Market in Sucre (Pic du Jour)

Here are a few shots from the food court in Sucre’s Central Market, my favorite lunch spot in the city. At top is a quick snap of this afternoon’s lunch rush.

After spending more than two months with the hefty prices in both Argentina and Chile, Bolivia’s kindness on the wallet is much appreciated. Saturday’s two-course lunch, below –a hearty chicken soup and the heaping entree– set me back 10 Bolivianos, or USD 1.44 / EUR 1.11.



Today I splurged and went for the trout, at 18 Bolivianos, or USD 2.60 / EUR 1.99.

Sucre 008

Looking forward to tomorrow’s offerings. :) A few more shots.

Sucre 007

Mercado Central, Sucre, Bolivia, 08-Apr-2013

Mercado Central, Sucre, Bolivia, 08-Apr-2013

At the Mercado Central, Santiago, 19-Mar-2013

20 Minutes in Santiago’s Mercado Central

At the Mercado Central, Santiago, 19-Mar-2013

At the Mercado Central, Santiago, 19-Mar-2013

the WordPress Photo Challenge for the week is ‘Future Tense’, asking us to catch a glimpse of the proverbial shape of things to come. When I watched this gentleman weighing some fish for a customer at the Mercado Central, or Central Market, in Santiago last week, I was only thinking about what a stupendous meal some fortunate souls were about to have.

While it’s known simply as the Mercado Central, it serves primarily as a fish market. Id’ guess that upwards of eighty percent of the items on offer were fish or seafood, along with dozens of small restaurants that served up fish and seafood. Built in 1872, its most interesting feature is its roof design which consists of a central pyramid crowned by a domed tower.

This is very much a working market, and it’s busy, so don’t be put off by the lively aromas and wet floors. Bill Clinton visited here in 1998 and it didn’t bother him.

Bill Clinton's visit to the Mercado Central in Santiago, immortalized.

Bill Clinton’s visit to the Mercado Central in Santiago, immortalized.

Its website (Spanish only) is here.  A few more snaps below.

At the Mercado Central, Santiago, 19-Mar-2013

At the Mercado Central, Santiago, 19-Mar-2013

At the Mercado Central, Santiago, 19-Mar-2013

At the Mercado Central, Santiago, 19-Mar-2013

Sea urchins at the Mercado Central, Santiago, 19-Mar-2013

Sea urchins at the Mercado Central, Santiago, 19-Mar-2013

At the Mercado Central, Santiago, 19-Mar-2013

At the Mercado Central, Santiago, 19-Mar-2013

Enhanced by Zemanta
freshly-boiled dog at a market in Nanning

A Dog at the Market

You can now cross Boiled Dog in a Nanning Market off your list of things to see before you die.

I’ve posted this pic a couple times before but it’s the first one to come to mind when Ailsa at Where’s My Backpack asked visitors to share some market pics in her latest challenge.

More about that October 2010 market visit –along with a dog and cat consumption in China update– is here. It was also the Gadling Photo of the Day for 18-Oct-2010.

30 Minutes in Istanbul’s Spice Market

Love Tea

The Love Tea immediately caught my eye. Can’t hurt, right? Unfortunately the 250g I bought was left in a bag in my hotel room. And so it goes. I can only hope the next occupant made use of it as it was meant to be used.

This, and the pics below, were taken last week at the Egyptian Bazaar in Istanbul, popularly and more simply known as the Spice Market. It’s a massive L-shaped arcade-style building with 88 rooms located near the waterfront on the Golden Horn, in the shadow of the ‘New Mosque‘ on Eminönü Square.

Like the Grand Bazaar, which I didn’t particularly care for (more on that another time), the Spice Market is quite the tourist attraction as well, but it’s also a place where  plenty of locals shop. “More than half,” one shopkeeper told me. From the sounds of the non-stop lively commerce, I had no reason to doubt him.

Obviously, piles and piles of colorful spices abound. The colors are blindingly delicious, the scents delectably delightful. But there’s plenty more besides tea and spice.  Like shoes, unfortunately.

And LOTS of sugar, too. About half the shops in the Bazaar sell sweets, primarily a countless variety of Turkish Delight, or Lokum. These items aren’t as ‘gourmet’ as they appear – they’re mainly flavored jelly and cornstarch. But they’re good. The huge blocks are nuts glued together with a sweet gel.

And if it’s not spicy or sweet, it’s nutty or fruity. None of it is particularly cheap, by the way. Prices for various nuts, dried fruit and figs, for example, were on par with prices here in Slovenia or in markets I’ve visited in various cities in France, Italy or Spain.

But just as interesting to me was what was outside, mainly the handful of stalls with a nice variety and selection of fresh fish. But to get to them you first have to walk past a stalls where you could buy a machine to roll grape leaves…

.. and this display case full of hooves.

I had seafood in Istanbul six of the eight nights I was there, and couldn’t get enough. It’s reason enough to return.

Shopping tips? Just a few:

  • Taste and smell before you buy
  • Look for shops and stalls who clearly specialize in something
  • Go where the locals go
  • Avoid buying cheesy souvenirs here, and
  • Don’t leave your Love Tea behind.

By the way, I didn’t feel like fumbling around with my SLR, so these were all shot on my Sony HDR CX350VE video cam.


Last week I came across the travel blog Budget Travelers Sandbox which hosts Travel Photo Thursday (#TPThursday on twitter), and am delighted to join in this week. When you have few minutes to browse, check out host Nancie’s photos and those of others who take part. You’ll see some great photos and visit some wonderful places. The link to this week’s post and links is here.

*** *** ***
Previous Istanbul posts:

45 Second Cheap Hotel Advisor – Istanbul
60 seconds with the Bird Seed Sellers of Istanbul
The Dandy Dozen – My 12 Favorite Mannequins in Istanbul
40+ Creative Commons Licensed Images of Istanbul now Available
1 min w/ skull & bones on Galip dede Caddesi, Istanbul
Hotel Pic of the Day – Sheraton Atakoy Istanbul
– Light in Babylon – Istanbul Street Music Quickie
Small Collection of Blocked Websites in Turkey

Enhanced by Zemanta