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Karlovo's main fresh produce market is located in its own square in the new part of the town, just across from where the buses stop (as opposed to the bus station proper). This is where you can get your local fruit and vegetables at very reasonable prices.
What to buy: Out of season this is still a colourful market, even if most of the produce is imported. The local crop in January seems to be a sort of bright-orange clementine, of which every stall had mini-mountains. At first I had thought that these variously-sized, and sometime knobbly-shaped, fruits would have been good only for marmalade (and at 1.20 leva per kilo were certainly cheap enough). However, on getting a chance to taste them a couple of days later, for breakfast in Bansko, they are in fact sweet and juicy.
The other thing that seemed to be popular are hand-made brooms at 3 leva each - though I don't know whether the gloves come as freebies? (pic #2)
Updated Jan 21, 2010
If you are at the town centre bus stop waiting for the Plovdiv bus you'll probably be approached by a taxi driver who'll offer to take you into Plovdiv for the same price as the bus. There's no con here but it's up to you whether or not to take him up on the offer.
Once he's got your money and you're sitting comfortable in his cab he'll continue touting until he's got a full cab - at least four passengers, five if he can squeeze them in.
On the other hand it may be a driver who's got a pick-up in Plovdiv (or has just come from there) and so anything extra he can make is a bonus.
It's your decision but remember that the bus is going to be just as quick and is perfectly comfortable.
Written Jan 20, 2010