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Ventana - An Enchanting Resort in BIg Sur

Summary: I love Ventana. I highly recommend visiting  and exploring the landscape at Lime Kiln and Andrew Molera State Park which I've blogged about here. Please note this is #notsponsored . Yes, that means we paid our own bill! Lots of details in the following review. including a Post Ranch vs Ventana comparison.  Can you tell there's something exciting beyond this beautiful gate? There's something special about Big Sur, a magic in the light, the presence of the Pacific, the cliffs, beaches, redwood forests and the murmur of the surf. It's one of my favorite places in California. I couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to be to celebrate turning fifty, because it's a place where there's a sense of nature, space and light and a wide horizon. We've been to Big Sur many times and for a celebration there are two fantastic hotels vying for your attention. The exclusive, modern and very private, cliff top Post Ranch Inn and on the other side of the road the …

Mercado da Ribiera

This morning I headed down to the Mercado da Ribiera near the bus station on the waterfront. It's an easy trip from the apartment walking down the hill along by the famous Bica Ascensor. It's much more taxing to climb back up the hill with your goodies in tow so if I don't have to wait too long for the funicular I'll take it back up the hill along with the eldery peole and perhaps a random tourist or two! Technically the market is open till 2pm but don't be fooled. You need to get here in the morning as I've seen some stallholders start to pack up  as early as noon.
I love the Ribiero though it's a little bereft and down at heel since a commercial market opened further out of town. Currently only half of the original space is occupied. There are plenty of veggies  and a number of butchers as well as stalls selling soaked beans and olives. I've been buying my veggies from this stall at the entrance to the market.
There is a section of the market for butchers, flowers and funereal wreaths as well as a stall with plants, herbs and plug plants like lettuce for the garden.

However, the fish is the main attraction here and on stall after stall there is lots of it. Sea bass, sea bream, mackerel, eels with large eyes and teeth, octopus, squid with its black ink, fish eggs, salmon, dourado  and so many more we couldn't identify. No wonder the Lisboans eat so much fish, it is fabulous and relatively cheap.

Smaller scraps of mixed fish are sold for stews and soups.
This is my favourite part of the market, I've bought and cooked clams, tuna steak, mackerel, dourado and sea bass. With only a short time left in Lisbon we're running out of time to try all the fish!