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Author: karenbdunn

Joined: 10/1/2012
Posts: 2
GCT Trips Taken: 8
OAT Trips Taken: 11
Traveler Since: 2008

March 24, 2013

A friend and I are going on the Eastern Europe to the Black Sea  cruise (with the extensions to Istanbul and Prague) in June.  I've read all the reviews of this trip, but no one went into detail about the best places to browse and purchase good quality folk art & souveniers at the stops on the cruise.  Most of the time I like to avoid the factories, etc. to which we are taken; I'd rather support the small villages and local people.

If you have taken this trip in the past and have any recommendations - including the currency used to purchase these items - I would really appreciate your comments.  Both of us are seasoned, many-time travelers with OAT and GCT, so we're accustomed to the opportunities they offer the "shoppers" on a trip.

Thanks for taking the time to read my request.


Author: bigredfrog

Joined: 1/4/2012
Posts: 16
GCT Trips Taken: 5
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2012

March 25, 2013

We found the street artists on Castle Hill in Budapest (by the Fisherman's Bastion) to have some quality works. Also those near the synagogue. Of course, the Charles Bridge artists in Prague should be on your list, too.  If your taste runs to icons, you can find good ones just about anywhere in Bulgaria -- our favorites were in Veliko Trnovo, especially the little one-artist shops where you can watch them being crafted.

In Kalocsa we opted to visit the town rather than take the included tour (I think it was to a horse farm and paprika museum).  We found a bookstore with some local maps and prints, and there were several other shops that looked interesting once you get past the farmers market area (although that was pretty interesting, too!).

If you go to Bran Castle in Romania you can find some locally-made ceramics in the commercial area outside the castle, but most of the merchandise there was pure schlock.

I hasten to add that we are not folk art connoisseurs and that our tastes are fairly simple, but we do try to scope out locally-made products on our travels and these are the things we enjoyed the most on that trip (which we took in April 2012).

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