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  • Shopping | New Zealand > Punakaiki
    Updated at May 22,2013

    The real nice attraction in the area was actually the farmer's market that we stumbled upon . about 10 Km north of Pancake Rocks, approx. where the Fox river spills over to the Tasman sea (
    This market has got to be one of NZ"s smallest, but you may actually find something you like...

    1. Try to find out beforehand with the people in Greymouth when, where and if the market is actually going to take place.
  • Shopping | Spain > Madrid
    Updated at May 22,2013

    Best streets are around Calle de Serrano. Of that street is the Calle Goya, Don Ramon de la Cruz, and very close is Velasquez. You can find some boutiques as well as the top brands. There is the Spanish Bloomingdales which is calles El Corte Inglais. It has a green sign and you will see it everywhere.

  • Shopping | Tanzania, United Republic of > Zanzíbar, Tanzania
    Updated at May 22,2013

    First things first – never ever buy any souvenirs in Mainland. There is nothing in Mainland that you won’t find in Stone Town, and since there are dozens, even hundreds of stores in Stone Town, you will be in a much better position to bargain for a discount.

  • Shopping | Norway > Steinsdalsfossen
    Updated at Jul 12,2013

    Near the waterfall there's a souvenir shop and clothes which are very cheap relative to the prices we saw in Norway. I bought a wool hat for 50 krone, compared to many other places I saw it for 65-85 krone. The shop also give us tax refund receipts, so you can do all your shopping here and not carry gifts along the trip. 

  • Shopping | France > Paris, France > Galeries Lafayette, Boulevard Haussmann, Paris, France
    Updated at Aug 5,2013

    Day 2:

    We woke up early, a slow wake up, getting used to Paris. The girl says: “I can't believe we're actually in Paris”. “Neither can I!” I said. We go looking for some breakfast. It's a cloudy day, a bit rainy, people rushing to work, wearing dark clothes. We find two fresh croissants, just down the street - what a lovely way to begin our day… Our apartment is located at Rue Chauss'ee-d'Antin 58. The Galeries Lafayette is just around the corner and opens since the early morning. We're heading there, to stare at the shops’ windows. Heading back down the rainy street, walking slowly among the rushing crowd, we arrive shortly after at Galeries Lafayette. It's huge inside! We're passing across some fancy umbrellas that cost "only" 105 Euros each, continuing our tour inside, to more and more shops, more and more floors, arranged as soldiers around a rounded stunning stained glass in the building’s dome. Staring up, can't control this whole beauty and space. We go around, feeling, taking photos, going up, going down, and going up again. Everything is so expensive. Before leaving the building, I try to take a photo of the umbrellas I had fallen in love with, but the guard would not allow me to do so. Disappointed, we go out, crossed the street and entered the opera house, which apparently was under construction. Despite that, it's still very impressive and magnificent. We were impressed by the moldings, sculptures and domes, but decided not to go inside, keeping something for the next visit in Paris.

  • Shopping | France > Paris, France > Claire's France
    Updated at Aug 5,2013

    Then we decided to look for the ultimate girl’s shop – Claire's which supposed to be located just across the Seine on the same bank we came from. Short navigation led us straight to the temple of earrings, scarves, rings, and chains. We buy a few things just to make us happier, and continue on the short way to the Île Saint-Louis. On the main street (and single one) we cross the island; we found many souvenirs in a well-designed small shop. We enter each one of the shops, check out what there is to offer and enjoy ourselves.

  • Shopping
    Updated at Mar 13,2014

    From Charing Cross to Hanover Square - shopping, luxury and iconic squares:

    Start: Charing Cross National Rail Station (Villers Street).

    End: Oxford Circus or Bond Street tube stations.

    Weather: Perfect itinerary for a rainy day.

    Duration: 4-6 hours. Much depends on your shopping habits.

    From Charing Cross Tube Station - take the Strand and turn right on the second turn to the right. We start with the Charing Cross Hotel. A great start location as Leicester Square, Regent Street, Covent Garden  - are all walking distance:

    Walk back on Villiers St toward Strand. Turn right onto the Strand and you'll see the Savoy Hotel on your right. Two luxurious hotels. See pictures of the Savoy in my blog on the Embankment and the "Let It Be" show in Savoy Theatre:

    Head southwest on Strand toward Savoy Ct. Turn right onto Bedford St.  Continue onto Garrick St.  Garrick St turns slightly left and becomes Cranbourn St. Continue to follow Cranbourn St and after 150 m. you arrive to Leicester Square. The heart of London with no cars or buses to distract. Keep your valuables close to you around here. Since November 18 2012 a new bronze sculpture has occupied a spot at the end of Cranbourn St in London’s West End – a monument to Agatha Christie. It stands at 2.5 metres high and has the sideways profile of a book, with a cut-out oval section at the centre which features a bust of Christie in profile:

    Leicester Square is London's home of entertainment. At night the street performers come out to entertain. One of the signs marking the Square bears the legend "Theatreland". It is claimed that the Square contains the cinema with the largest screen and the cinema with the most seats (over 1,600). The Square is also the home for TKTS, the past Official London Half-Price Theatre Ticket Booth. Tickets for theatre performances taking place around the West End are sold from the booth for about half the usual price. The popularity of the booth has given rise to many other fraudulent booths around the Square that advertise half-price tickets for West End shows. Despite having names like 'Official Half-Price Ticket Booth', they are not official and they do not always advertise the booking fees which commonly come with purchasing tickets.  The best place to get Theatre tickets from is the free standing ticket office which can offer some heavily discounted tickets to the shows.

    The Square is home to several major cinemas (Odeon Leicester Square (the only working cinema in London with its organ), Odeon Mezzanine,
    Odeon West End, Vue, Odeon Panton Street, Prince Charles Cinema,
    Cineworld, Empire) and nightclubs (Hippodrome):

    The square is the most iconic London’s West End spot for shopping (the biggest candy store in the world: M&M store), culture and entertainment like nowhere else. Film premieres are held here:

    Relax in luxury at a lobby of one of Leicester Square's hotels which include the: Radisson Blu,  Edwardian Hampshire or the Premier Inn. The Leicester Square lies within an area bound by Lisle Street, to the north; Whitcomb Street, to the west; Charing Cross Road, to the east; Orange Street, to the south. In the middle of the Square is a small park, in the centre of which is a 19th-century statue of William Shakespeare surrounded by dolphins:

    The four corner gates of the park had one bust each, depicting Sir Isaac Newton, the scientist; Sir Joshua Reynolds, the first President of the Royal Academy; John Hunter, a pioneer of surgery; and William Hogarth, the painter. Do not look for the  statue of film star and director Charlie Chaplin.  It Has been removed before the 2012 Olympics. The Leicester Square Park at the centre of the Square is bound by Cranbourn Street, to the north; a section of road designated simply as Leicester Square, to the west; Leicester Street, to the east; Irving Street, to the south. Since the Olympics there are now less flower beds and more grass for the public to use:

    Head southwest on Leicester Square toward Leicester St.  Continue onto Swiss Ct.  Continue onto Coventry St. Turn left onto Piccadilly Circus.  Sharp right and you face Piccadilly Circus ("British Times Square"):

    This busy square is one of the major landmarks of London, full of neon lights and a lot of opportunities for people watching. It is famous for the fountain that was installed here at the end of the nineteenth century and for the neon advertising that turned the square into a miniature version of Times Square (Its far less electrically lit up as compared to its NY cousin). At the center of the Circus stands the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain. It was built in 1893 to commemorate Lord Shaftesbury, a philanthropist known for his support of the poor. The semi-nude statue on top of the fountain depicts the Angel of Christian Charity but was later renamed Eros after the Greek god of love and beauty. The fountain was made in bronze, but the statue is made of aluminum, at the time a novel and rare material. The Circus lies at the intersection of five main roads: Regent Street, Shaftesbury Avenue, Piccadilly Street, Covent Street and Haymarket.

    On the south-east direction is Regent Street. It is covered under a seperate blog. you must walk through this street ! The beautiful architecture and eye-catching window displays make every stroll down the historic street one to remember. A legendary street that offers it all; brand shopping, nice boutiques, wonderful architecture, amazing little restaurants and bars at the side streets. Many of the shops are too expensive, and yet, this is the perfect shopping experience. Stunning shops, few designer shops, the biggest toy shop in London (Hamleys). Lights and city traffic illuminate the street at night making it a picturesque London destination:

    Walk in Regent Street until you come to the T junction: the Glasshouse St on your right and Vigo St on your left. Turn left onto Vigo Street and there, on the 2nd turn to the left - turn onto Old Bond Street (another way is to walk from Picadilly Cirus along the Picadilly road and turn right to the Old Bond Street. But, I prefer the picturesque Regent Sterret !). I recommend to turn left from Vigo Street to (southward) the Old Bond Street and, later, return all the Old Bond back  (northward) - continuing onto the New Bond Street. Old Bond Street was built in the 1680s by Sir Thomas Bond and New Bond Street, the stretch further north, was built 40 years later. Bond Street never fails to impress, from the exclusive boutiques to the famous department stores. Bond Street competes with Knightsbridge as the ultimate luxury shopping experience in London. Things, here around, are a bit too pricey. Practically - better for for window shopping... Most shops do not have prices in the windows. Creme-de-la Creme-type brands. You can continue in the Royal Arcade and Burlington Arcade (closer to Regent Street) and other, less famous, nearby arcades.

    Tip: visiting during the sales you can find a good deal.

    Bronze statue of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill sitting 'talking' together on a bench in Mayfair (exactly, where Old Bond Street meets New Bond Street). This statue by Lawrence Holofcener was unveiled in year 1995:

    Louis Vuitton:

    Asprey (New Bond Street):


    The Royal Arcade - 28 Old Bond Street: Originally called simply ‘The Arcade’. The ‘Royal’ was added after Queen Victoria shopped in 1882 with shirtmaker Hodgson William Brettell. HW opened his shop at No12 in 1880, a year after the arcade was built to connect Brown's Hotel to Bond Street.

    Rolex watches:

    Sotheby - International Auction Art Sales - 34-35 New Bond Street:

    Hidden above Sotheby’s entrance is the oldest outdoor statue in London: the Ancient Egyptian black basalt body of the lion-goddess Sekhmet. Dates to around 1320 BC:

    On number 153 (New Bond Street) (Time-Life Building) , you find various abstract figures of Henry Moore - some human, some not, arranged in a stone screen:

    Do not walk until the end of New Bond Street (except of looking at Sotheby...). Turn left to the Bruton street. In the junction of these two streets watch an isolated, interesting wood house with a nice pub:

    Take the Bruton street until you face the Berkeley Square. It was originally laid out in the mid 18th century by architect William Kent. The buildings around the square include several by notable architects including Robert Adam. The square features a sculptural fountain by Alexander Munro, made in 1865. A residence in Berkeley Square is highly sought after. The square, resides, actually, in Mayfair:

    The Berkeley Square is surrounded by posh car showrooms and property HQs. Rools-Royce:



    Return back to Bruton street.  Continue onto Conduit St. Turn left onto St. George St. Slight right to stay on St. George St. Turn right onto Hanover St and then Hanover Square. We are in mayfair. The streets which converge at Hanover Square are: Brook Street, Dering Street, Hanover Street, Harewood Place and Princes Street:

    St. George Church in Hanover Square:

    Head northwest. Turn right onto Princes St. Turn left onto Regent St.  Turn right onto Oxford St. and Oxford Circus tube station will be on the right. Bond Street tube station is 7 minutes, 500 m. further to the west on Oxford Street.

  • Shopping
    Updated at Jul 20,2015

    Tip 1: Izmailovo Market.

    Tip 2: Izmailovo Park and the Tsar Estate.

    Walk in Izmailovo Kremlin and Markets:

    Duration: 3-4 hours. PLEASE ALLOW EVEN 4-5 hours (especially, in the weekends). You won't regret allowing more time for this very typical Russian site ! One of the more interesting places to visit in Moscow.

    This vibrant, exceptionally colorful, authentic and cheap market is packed with handmade crafts, antiques, original atifacts and pure Russian memorabilia. The market is formally open every day. BUT, BETTER come here on weekends, when the selection is far greater. You'll find here just about anything you might want for a souvenir. This is the most extensive market on earth for traditional woodworking crafts. There are also rugs, pottery, napkins, hats, jewellery, handkerchiefs, chess sets, home decoration items from Central Asia and Past-Soviet republics. Don't hesitate to negotiate (politely). From my experience, don’t expect vendors to come down more than 20-30%. Most of the vendors look honest and hard-day workers. On Izmailovo market all the souvenirs are much cheaper than in the center of the city. After three weeks in Russia - we can say that we didn't face such low prices in any other place in this giant country cities.

    Directions from Izmailovo Hotels complex (near Partizanskaya Metro station in line 3, the Dark Blue one):

    From the Izmailovo-Gamma-Delta building head north for 500 m. and turn right for 230 m. You'll see a VERY COLORFUL complex of towers, turrets and walls in front of you. This is the Izmailovo Kremlin (see below). The complex “Kremlin and Vernissage in Izmailovo” is located in one of the most beautiful historical places of Moscow, on the bank of Serebryano-Vinogradny pond.

    History: During Perestroika (the literal meaning of Perestroika is "restructuring", referring to the restructuring of the Soviet political and economic system) and post-Perestroika times (from years 1986-7), there was Cherkizovsky market nearby. The market was founded in the early 1990s. It was the BIGGEST marketplace in Europe and employed nearly 100,000 workers (mainly from Central-Asia republics). It was quite a filthy place.  Prime Minister Vladimir Putin complained at a government meeting that last year's large-scale confiscation of smuggled Chinese goods on the Cherkizovsky market hadn't resulted in convictions. Moscow city authorities closed it down on June 29, 2009 on grounds of numerous violations of regulations and illegal activities. In July, 2009, Moscow authorities confirmed that the market was to be replaced with a Chinatown.

    There was no Kremlin in Izmailovo back then, but there was something called Izmailovo Vernissage, a place where all kinds of Russian and pseudo-Russian items were sold, like souvenirs, clothes, jewlery etc. The place was quite popular with tourists and foreigners. Izmailovo Vernissage burned down several times, probably due to mafia wars. Cherkizovsky market was completely closed down, and, gradually, the  Izmailovo Kremlin was erected nearby. From ancient times every Russian town had its own Kremlin that protected it from enemies. A Kremlin was considered to be a center of all settlement. Firstly Kremlins were wooden, then, stone and refractory with impregnable towers and moats. Nowadays Russia has about 20 such historic and cultural buildings that are not just military fortresses but also great architectural complexes with temples, palaces and halls. Everybody knows about the famous Moscow Kremlin BUT only few know about the second Kremlin in Moscow, that is called the Izmailovo Kremlin. To the foreign visitor it looks spectacular - but, it is very kitschy and simplistic. The Kremlin in Izmailovo has already gained its reputation for its unusual architecture and style performed in native Russian traditions. Each building is unique and has its own name and history.

    Opening Times: Every day, 9.00 - 18.00. Entrance is FREE.

    Transport: Izmailovo Market is a 5-7 minutes walk from metro Partizanskaya, east on the dark blue line.

    Just take a left from the metro entrance, follow the crowds, and look for the brightly painted Kremlin. DO NOT go to metro Izmailovskaya — the walk is quite far.

    The entrance to the Kremlin:

    Nowadays, the Kremlin in Izmailovo - is a center of culture and entertainment, based at the famous Izmailovo Vernissage. You each find here - tours, workshops on Russian crafts, meal in restaurants and cafes. For the little and the older ones. The whole site was intended for conferences, ceremonies, weddings, entertainment and even as a business center. But, here I must warn you: it looks a bit neglected, not homogenous and lacks direction and purpose. It looks very impressive from the distance (and, even, close-by) - a fairy-tale site. But, your main purpose, here, would be the souvenirs and Russian memorabilia markets. There are fequent workshops, fairs, exhibitions, conferences - but, mainly, in the weekends. See Izmailovo web site:

    The Vernissage, a fair where objects of fine arts, crafts, folk crafts, souvenirs and antiques can be found, is very popular among the visitors of the capital. Vernissage is a town of craftsmen where you can visit the Street of Handicrafts, the Paintings Lane, the Flea Market, the Antique and Silver Rows and purchase appealing souvenirs. The first level of the wooden market structure is filled with classic Russian Matryoshki (Russian nesting dolls), clothing and art. Further from the entrance and in the 2nd floor (see below) are antiques, Soviet paraphernalia, and piles of junk which might hold some undiscovered treasures:

    In the south-east corner of the whole complex - you enter a MARVELLOUS INTERNAL COURTYARD WITH A STUNNING COLLECTION OF COLORFUL HOUSES, MOATS, TOWERS, BRIDGES - ALL MADE OF WOOD. It is the fairy-tale Izmailovo Kremlin built during the last seventies near the market. UNFORGETTABLE PLACE !

    In Izmailovo Kremlin you can visit various museums: Museum of Bread (Wednesday - Sunday, from 10.00 to 18.00),

    Chocolate Museum, the Museum of Russian toys, Museum of Russian dresses and life, Museum of Bells, Museum of Russian Fairy-Tale, Museum of the History of vodka and the Museum of the History of the Russian Navy.

    One of the most interesting museums is probably the Russian Vodka History Museum. The Vodka Museum is located inside the Izmailovo Kremlin. Once you reach the Izmailovsky market entrance, just follow the signs. The museum only has one floor, and it’s not very big. But you should still expect to spend about an hour and a half looking around. The collection represented there demonstrates century-long history of Russian vodka since the time it was invented till the present day and contains over 600 kinds of this drink. The exhibits give you the detailed and fun history of vodka in Russia and tell you about the role it plays in Russian society. You will learn that it has changed the course of history in Russia on more than one occasion. The museum is quite impressive, plus with the regular tour a complimentary shot is of course included ! After the tour you can also arrange to attend a vodka tasting session and buy your favorite brands. All information and signs at the museum are in Russian and English. Worth a visit if you're prepared to find it !

    Apart from the Vernissage and museums, you are invited to participate in unusual master classes in pottery, soap making, willow weaving, gingerbread painting and other kinds of folk crafts. Here you will not only get acquainted with the old Russian manufacturing history and secrets, but will also be able to create your own handiwork that will keep reminding you of your joyful and unusual leisure for a long time.

    Once you have passed the through the main lane alleyways (there are two from the entrance) , you will reach some steps that go up. These steps go (in the centre of the photo below) up to the second floor - antique section:

  • Shopping | United States > Ithaca, NY > Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
    Updated at May 22,2013

    We left Ithaca the next day, passing through the local farmers market on 3rd street. It is operated by a cooperative of farmers from the nearby area, and they sell fruits, vegetables, meats and other local products. After stocking up a bit we continued on our way.

  • Shopping | United States > Franconia, NH > North Conway
    Updated at May 22,2013

    In north Conway we stopped at the Green Outlet Village (no sales taxes), where we did a little shopping. There are stores like American Eagle, Banana Republic, Adidas and more, and we bought some very nice T-shirts and 2 pairs of shoes. You can also eat in one of the local
    restaurants or food kiosks.