It was still dark when our Shikara dove into the labyrinth of Golden Dal. The lake was absolutely quiet and temperatures bone-chilling at around 05:00 am. We hoped so much that this trip was worth the effort of leaving our warm bed. Oh yes, it was! We found a place squirming with small boats selling squash, tomatoes, onions, eggplants, green beans, fish and flowers. Men only, squatting on their boats haggling with people they have probably known all their lives.
Bargaining could be quite long and elaborate. Two vendors would end up side by side, haggle over the price, move away, eventually come back, re-evaluate and then the deal was closed by weighing the vegetables on lovely old scales and passing the money across. Some of the merchants are specialized in one kind of vegetable, while others sell a mix of everything.
Our presence attracted other sellers, those offering jewelry, saffron, seeds and homemade cookies. Nobody paid attention to our photo shooting session that lasted until the market slowly emptied around 07:30 am. Even after a couple of hours, we were not tired of people watching and marveling at the incredible scenery bordering the lake.