I was pretty much absent on the blogging front last week. Roll-call would have come up with silence. I was taking photos though so that I’d be able to report back to you that last week consisted of a wonderful trip to Cape Town. For work, off course. Any trip to Cape Town, even a work one is pleasant because, well, Cape Town. I have proof of this assertion…in the photos below. Take a look…
As the plane came in to land this is what greeted me. As you can see it was breathtaking so much so that I quickly switched on my phone to capture it before landing. How gorgeous is that?
If you’re a foodie, you simply have to visit the Mercado da Ribeira. It’s across from the Cais do Sodré train station, so an easy walk from anywhere in downtown Lisbon. It reminds me of the Sarona Market in Tel Aviv but about 5 times larger.
I met my friend, Cristina, and we took a slow walk down the Rua do Alecrim to Cais do Sodré. I knew about this market but had never thought to visit. I was surprised at how the space had been so smartly converted into what it is now – the Time Out Market – combining the best of fresh produce, flowers, artisanal goods, an organic market, fresh fish, meat, a concert space, a start-up hub upstairs, and off course, all the eating places. You simply have to go and experience it for yourself.
According to the Project For Public Spaces (PPS)“great public spaces are those places where celebrations are held, social and economic exchanges occur, friends run into each other, and cultures mix.” They go on to say that “when theses spaces work well, they serve as the stage for our public lives.” The Mercado da Ribeira and Time Out Market certainly lives up to this premise.
Like most public spaces in Lisbon, history and culture is inextricably intertwined with food, wine and convivio (Portuguese for being together socially) – the things that characterise Portuguese culture.
The photo above and the one below show some of the original tiled murals which have been preserved over the centuries. They are intricate and beautiful. These murals have been recreated in some other places in the mercado as wallpaper or painted on.
You can eat food created by high profile chefs who have established concept stalls of their restaurants in the food court.
There are “24 restaurants, 8 bars, a dozen shops and a high-end music venue, all with the very best in Lisbon (the best steak, the best hamburger, the best sushi and the best live performances, amongst others)” – info taken from the Mercado’s official website.
This is one of the many living heritages of the city of Lisbon.
The space includes a concert venue and a cooking academy.
The Mercado also houses Second Home Lisboa, a workspace for start-ups, entrepreneurs and social impact organisations. For more info see here. I didn’t go up to take a look, something to do next time I am there.
Cristina and I could not leave the Mercado without sampling pasteis de nata from Manteigaria, with coffee, off course. Doesn’t it look good? It tasted delicious!
This was a wonderful find and I wish I had more time to explore it. I love the concept. When you are in Lisbon, you simply have to visit it. To whet your appetite even further, take a look at the concept video.
I haven’t posted all my pics from Munich. I hope you enjoy the gallery of this bustling city. Some of the photos were taken from atop a Hop On Hop Off bus hence the elevated angle and reflection from the window glass 🙂
It’s a large gallery. Click on any photo to scroll through the large version of the photos.
I was surprised to find, among all the trendy hotels ringing Port Olympia, the stainless steel sculpture of El Peix, dominating its entry and exit. It changes shape depending on which angle you see it. We didn’t spend any time looking at it because we had other priorities.
First stop had to be the Sagrada Familia, so we found a taxi who took us right there. I’ve posted a whole lot of pics of the outside of this beautiful structure in another post. We so wanted to have a tour of the inside of it. I went online to find some tickets but none were available for that day. That experience is in itself a subject for a different post.
With a tour of the Sagrada Familia off the table, we debated whether to take one of the open topped busses. This was scrapped when we saw the queues for tickets. Time was ticking and by this time we had three hours left before having to make our way back to the Port.
Plaza Catalunya became our next target. We stopped a few locals for directions and started walking.
Without a travel guide street signs became something we looked for but they have a tendency of not being consistent. We followed this sign, came to the Arc de Triomf and got half-way to the Parc Cuitadella when we got the feeling that we were not going in the right direction. And not a street sign to be found at this point. So we backtracked to this sign and found another local to ask directions of.
But not before coming across this beautiful church.
And coming across this inviting facade to restaurant Sant Joan. It was closed, alas.
It was at this time that a taste for coffee and patatas bravas called and we stopped at a sidewalk tapas bar for some sustenance. It’s hard work walking, looking for elusive tourist landmarks. And food and coffee is a priority in my book.
I love the symmetry and balance of this monument. I wonder why the water wasn’t running.
Look carefully…can you see the bicycle precariously balanced on the balcony in the photo below?
Walking to the Arc de Triomf...
…with coconut ice-cream in hand after the coffee because walking is hard work.
The Arc de Triomf. The Barcelona one. I don’t know the people in the photo but it adds to the fun of it don’t you think?