One of the places I always inevitably end up while walking around a city is in its market place or square. It is here that you can just walk around and breathe in the city atmosphere or sit down with a glass of wine and watch the people of the city go about their daily business. This is usually also the place where you end up buying all your souveniers and postcards that you send home.
I found Greenmarket Square in the heart of Cape Towns business district, here in South Africa, a 15 minute walk from my flat. Not only is the square a beautiful place it actually has quite a colourful past. It has been a slave market, a fruit and vegetable market and, during the 1950s, a humble parking lot. Now it is a lively market where you can buy all kinds of arts and crafts, glassware, sunglasses and even clothes or woodwork pieces from all over Cape Town and Africa. You can find some real treasures here, as long as you are willing to Barter a bit with the traders. I have learnt the hard way that you only ask the price of something if you are interested in buying that object, otherwise they make you feel guilty for not buying it. They sometimes end up following you around bartering with themselves, saying that they will give it to you at a lower price.
But actually Greenmarket Square is more than a flea market, not only will you find a wide range of goods to buy, there is also entertainment in the form of buskers, mime artists and jugglers, especially on Saturday mornings. This beautiful cobbled square is filled with some of the city’s most colourful and eccentric characters.
I have found a couple of lovely coffee shops and restaurants here where I usually sit and write out the postcards I send out to the various friends I have made all over the world. The atmosphere of the square is electric and always puts me in a good mood, ready to take on the day!