A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about shopping

Hungary

BY ABBY

sunny 20 °C
View Koning/Zemliak Family Europe 2012/2013 on KZFamily's travel map.

Our Budapest Apartment

Our Budapest Apartment

Today we left Slovenia for Hungary. Although we liked our apartment, we weren't too sad to leave because we were excited to wash our clothes properly as soon as possible. Leaving the apartment was easy and we were on the road in no time. The drive was scheduled to take a little over four hours so the only stops we planned were lunch and grocery shopping.

The drive was fairly uneventful, so I'll skip right to our first Hungarian experience, grocery shopping. When we went to get ourselves a cart we noticed that none of our coins fit into the slot. On further investigation inside the mall we realized that Hungary was not a country that used the Euro, but had its own currency entirely. One Canadian Dollar equals just over 215 Hungarian Forint (HUF). After locating an ATM and taking out the money we required, we were finally able to start our shopping trip. It took a little more effort that some other trips we've done as we had to figure out the language as well as divide all the prices by 200 for some rough price estimations. It was strange seeing items like meat and vegetables advertised with the number 1000.

We left the store having spent what seemed like thousands, but turned out to add up to only fifty dollars (CA). On our exit from the store our watermelon slipped out of its holder and onto the floor, which smashed it up a bit. But hopefully it will be okay if we eat it soon enough.

We made it to our meeting spot just on time and met with our friendly host. He is originally from Scotland, so he spoke English fluently (with an awesome accent too, which is a plus). He moved to Hungary with his wife when they got married, as she was born and raised there. Our apartment is very nice and clean, and we even have our own parking spot in an underground parking lot. When he was showing us where to park his foot hit the watermelon on the floor of the car, and as he left us he said, "I'm just glad that was a melon. I thought it was a head or something."

Posted by KZFamily 00:56 Archived in Hungary Tagged budapest travel shopping hungary currency Comments (2)

Shopping in Innsbruck

By Abby

rain 11 °C
View Koning/Zemliak Family Europe 2012/2013 on KZFamily's travel map.

Today was a travel day from Germany to Austria. We woke up to rain, after having a thunder and lightning storm the night before, also with a heavy downpour. It would only take a few hours to drive to our place, so our plan was to stop at a town called Innsbruck and go to a shopping centre to pass the time. We got to the mall a little after lunch time so we bought some pizza and had a little sit down. After lunch we split up to do a little clothes shopping, I went with my dad and my mom headed off with my sister. We recognized a couple of the stores in the mall, such as H&M and Jack Wolfskin, but most of them had German names that we hadn’t ever seen before. In the couple of hours that we spent looking around, both Hannah and my dad were successful in finding a couple new shirts. Unfortunately, my new shoes that I bought in Blackpool have already split in the sole, but I was unable to find a replacement. Once our clothes needs were fulfilled we stopped at the grocery store inside the mall to get some supplies for our dinner, as well as breakfasts and lunches for the following days. This ended our shopping day and we finished the rest of our drive to our new house for the next three days.

Our new apartment is really nice, and we even have free access to a pool only 2 km away. My mom was also quite excited about another downhill rollercoaster that is fairly close as well. Our host is also very kind and helpful, and speaks English fluently as she is originally from Britain, so that always scores points with me.

Posted by KZFamily 12:19 Archived in Austria Tagged shopping austria innsbruck Comments (1)

Where is the shoe store????!!!!

By Abby

semi-overcast 13 °C
View Koning/Zemliak Family Europe 2012/2013 on KZFamily's travel map.

Playing a Coin Pusher

Playing a Coin Pusher

Today was our first full day in Blackpool. We decided that we were going to save the amusement park for the next day, which resulted in us spending the day just walking alongside the water and looking at the piers. We stopped at a small arcade with many stereotypical “carnival games”. My dad showed me how to play a game that consisted of dropping two pence coins into a slot (this is most commonly known as a coin pusher or a medal pusher game). I was pretty good, if I may say so myself. I won almost all of my money back, but I decided I might as well spend all my 34 p for the experience, rather than just be left with a large handful of small change. I left with a small bracelet that I was unable to fit (so very unfortunate) but in my opinion it was worth it for the fun my dad and I had. Hannah is now quite worried that I’ll get addicted, but I’m sure I’ll be fine.

We kept on walking a little further until we got to a small attraction called the Comedy Carpet (click on the logo to read more about it). We stayed there for quite some time actually, reading the various bits that people were well known for, as well as trying to spot names of comedians we recognized around the outside. I didn’t know very many of them (Michael McIntyre, Bruce Forsyth, Judi Dench were a few) but it was still interesting at the very least.

The Comedy Carpet

The Comedy Carpet

After this we carried on walking further along the stretch of land beside the ocean. We were looking specifically for a shoe store I had researched because one of my pairs has started to disintegrate (or just generally wear out I suppose). In the end our search was too grueling and we had to stop for lunch along the way. We stopped at a small Italian place that charged too much, gave too little and salted their food quite heavily. But it was something, and we went on our way again. We didn’t find the store we were looking for, but I did find some shoes, and Hannah even got one of her watch batteries replaced as both of the watches she brought along have recently had their ability to tell time be taken away from them, and desperately needed surgery. From here we walked the remaining mile back home, where Hannah and started to play Lego Indiana Jones on the PS2 in our apartment, and my parents took a nap.

For dinner we’ll have some chili, followed by either chocolate or carrot cake. And then (hopefully) we’ll watch some good-night West Wing before we go to sleep before what may be an absolutely terrifying or possibly enjoyable day at the amusement park.

Posted by KZFamily 11:47 Archived in England Tagged ocean shopping shoes games arcade gambling blackpool coins Comments (4)

Istanbul's Grand Bazaar

BY ABBY

semi-overcast 8 °C
View Koning/Zemliak Family Europe 2012/2013 on KZFamily's travel map.

The Grand Bazaar, Istanbul

The Grand Bazaar, Istanbul

Today we went to the Grand Bazaar, and for those of you who don't know, it's a very large, very old building that has over four thousand shops. All of the crisscrossing streets were packed with both people selling and buying, as well as the four of us who desperately just wanted to look at a couple things in a little peace. We had read earlier that it is near impossible to have the opportunity to look at something in a shop without the vendor running towards us saying, "Would you like this, very good price!!" But we were usually able to get them off our backs eventually, or just ignore them and walk away. A couple had some good lines though, like when my mom said, "Just looking," he replied with a shrug of his shoulders and retorted "Just selling." We also heard "Is it my turn to sell you a carpet?" and 'Those are nice shoes." Also, Hannah's hair colour provided a ready conversation starter and she received no less than ten comments today.

We spent the morning looking at the shops, and we even purchased a few small things. But at around lunch we decided to go out of the bazaar for a little and take a look around for some lunch. Hannah and my mom went off to pick all of us some Turkish wraps and pizzas while my dad rested his back and I kept him a little company.

After lunch we went back in the bazaar for a little while longer. My dad had an unsuccessful look for jeans, while I found a shirt I was looking for and Hannah got a pair of earrings. My parents also purchased a traditional coffee maker for my aunt, who will be joining us in our next destination... LONDON!

The Grand Bazaar, Istanbul

The Grand Bazaar, Istanbul

But as we were there we noticed that the mosque that was right beside the bazaar was being surrounded by crowds of men, all praying and listening to someone over a loudspeaker. Every Friday there is a congregational prayer, but it's mostly just for the men. The men are encouraged to congregate to pray, while the women can do it alone, or with people, and it doesn't have to be at a mosque. Even as we walked around the shops, many of the narrow streets were crowded with men praying or walking up and down with their prayer carpets. It was a really interesting experience.

In the end my dad and I got tired quickly and went home first, and were joined later at home by the second half of our party. Mom and Hannah reported that the bazaar got a lot busier in the afternoon. Hannah cooked us some great chili, which was especially good if you took into consideration the ingredients she had to work with, but we're all adapting pretty well.

The day was one that I really enjoyed. It was really cool to be able to see the Friday schedule for the male Muslims, as well as the bartering and regular banter between shopkeepers and customers. And I think that even though we weren't really used to this whole system, we were able to adapt pretty quickly, which just goes to show that you really do learn something new every day.

Find more information at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Bazaar,_Istanbul

Posted by KZFamily 14:36 Archived in Turkey Tagged shopping walk turkey grand_bazaar Comments (1)

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