On our first visit, we reached Ljubljana pretty late. Even though the sun sets late and the public places are bustling with people all over, the central market closes by 4 pm on every weekday. No one but me was keen on visiting the market anyway. So we wandered around to see the famous dragon bridge and triple bridges and so on.
Incidentally, we crossed the central market on our way. And this is how it looked (the picture below). Empty and deserted!
The next day, we were to leave for Croatia for a couple of days. We went on with our trip and forgot about this place.
On our way back, we had to come back to Ljubljana before parting ways with each other. After seeing everyone off and before catching my bus, I had some time left on my hand. And of course.. what else could be a better use of this time?
The stalls started even before I reached the square I had seen earlier. Most of them were selling various kinds of souvenirs and some daily use accessories - clocks, kitchenware, crockery. Every seller had a speciality. Someone was selling things made of only wax, another one was selling all chinaware, someone had all wooden stuff, someone had only glassware, someone had things made of gingerbread cookies and so on!
Once I reached the square, I found it empty again - with no one but a couple of house sparrows in it. After asking people around, I got to know something totally unexpected. The central market assembled in another huge square behind this one. This square was only reserved for the weekend markets - Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On Fridays, it is occupied by local food sellers. They set up their kitchen there itself. It is called an open kitchen market. On Saturdays, the place becomes an art market, whereas on Sundays, it turns into a flee market. Unfortunately, I couldn't witness any of these. It was a Monday ????
The novelty of this different kind of a weekly market got my spirits high, of course. But another thing which struck me was that - this huge square along with at least a fifty canopied stalls was reserved only for those three days in a week. Rest of the days, it was empty. I wish we could have that of luxury in India! Indian economy would just not afford to leave such a resource unused for more than half of the time.
Once I ventured into the real central square market, it was a treat to my eyes.. with hundreds of different kinds of flowers, people decorating them, picking and choosing them and some just watching in awe like I.
The view was also tinkering with my tastebuds - with all kinds of new fruits and berries and with fresh vegetables, some of which I had never seen!
The market was flooded with people - picking and choosing and tasting and yumming. No one had to yell to sell their stuff. No one had to fight to get the right price. And even though birds and animals were welcome there, it was one of the cleanest market I have seen.
Could we do something to have our Indian markets such clean and organised? Without blaming it on the government or on the population and shrugging the guilt off our shoulders?
Thoughts invited in comments!