Day 4: The Grand Bazaar

I met a few people from the Netherlands over breakfast and the cat wasn’t hungry at all today. After I filled up on salami, cheese, cucumbers, and lots of juice I headed over to the Grand Bazaar. The weather was pretty gloomy…

Rain.

On my way there it started sprinkling, and it wasn’t too bad seeing as how the Grand Bazaar itself is only 5 – 8 minutes away from my hotel. FYI: The Grand Bazaar is supposed to be THE spot for all your shopping in all of Turkey. They’re supposed to have the best deals, the most quantity, the most vendors (about 4,000 according to Lonely Planet), and the bazaar itself is extremely old. They have jewelry, antique, art, food, and clothin stores, cafes, restaurants, and much more.

After a little browsing the rain came down really hard. Good thing the bazaar itself is sheltered, but not so good was the complex maze that I was stuck in. I couldn’t figure out where I was and how to get anywhere, so I just kept walking. As you’re walking you have to pass by every salesman who wants your sale (understandbly because it’s low season), and you have to convince them that you don’t want their product. Normally, it’s the other way around.

For my my South Asian readers: here in Turkey just like in the Middle East your name will be Haaji irregardless of what your name actually is. They will call you haaji even if you tell them your real name, and they will say it repeatedly.

The shops all together were really nice. It was a great experience. I saw tons of calligraphy vendors (which was my favorite) and everyone was pretty nice and courteous despite being a little pushy.

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One of the many entrances to the Grand Bazaar

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This guy was trying to sell me puppets for my non-existent daughters

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The Grand Bazaar

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Juicy shiwarma stand

 

Afterwards, I ran out of the rain and took refuge in my favorite café. It’s really cheap, cozy, the tea is excellent, and the baklava is plentiful. Met an American there and we had cappucino. I don’t remember annything about him or even what he looks like. I don’t know why. Shady.

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The tea

After the rain decided to calm down for a bit, I headed over to Masjid Sulimanniyaah. It’s supposed to be the best work of Sinan (the architect of the 2,000 masajid in the Ottoman Empire). It was FAR away and when I finally found it, I was overwhelmed. (the pictures are at the bottom of the post)

This place is huge. Gigantic. Mammoth-ly. I can’t even really describe it. Check out the pictures and see for yourself.

By the way: I went to a few travel agents earlier in the day (Sultanahmet is packed with them), and they all told me to skip on Troy. Apparently, there is nothing there but a big horse which was made for the movie Troy and the Gallapoli battlefields during WWII. Nothing else of value. I won’t be going.

Tomorrow: Heading to the city of Ephesus through Izmir.

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The masjid from the inside

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The masjid from the inside

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