Turkey & Bulgaria

May 23rd - June 6th, 2003



Istanbul

*Grand Bazaar
*carpet shopping
*Egyptian Spice Market
**Grand Bazaar again


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June 5th

Got going relatively early and took a taxi to the Grand Bazaar. There I immediately found two slim gold rings to claim for my own and spend my last US dollars on. We moved on through the relatively empty alleys. I decided that I wanted a blue moon-and-stars tapestry to put on my bedroom wall, but we didn't find that right away.

Went to one of Christina's favourite shops, where we looked at spreads but didn't get one, thought Christina bought several tassles.

Christina shoppingChristina in her favourite shop.

 

We carried on through the bazaar, getting distracted here and there, until finally we decided to go carpet shopping. I acted the part of the know-nothing, pretending I had lost all knowledge I gained last time I was in Turkey. Christina took me through the basics carpets as the shopkeeper showed us his wares. There wasn't too much that either of us were interested in, though there was another Herike (we already have one) in colours that would go nicely in our bedroom, a little red and blue prayer rug, and a small oddly designed rug for our hall. Got a great price on the three of them.

carpetThe red and blue prayer rug.

 

After that, we went home to drop off our purchases, take a brief rest, then we headed out again to the Egyptian Spice Market. Unlike the Grand Bazaar, this was full of Turks shopping. The Market is huge, like Pike Place Market to the 100th power and packed wall-to-wall with people and carts and cars trying to push their way through. If I hadn't had Christina's back to concentrate on, I would have been utterly overwhelmed.

There is a block of spices. Then a block of something else: shoes, men's clothing, fabrics, women's clothing, and so on. There are side passages and buildings with several layers, full of small shops for beads, and what Christina calls the Evil-Eye-O-Rama (a shop full of little blue eyes to ward off the evil eye). We went bead shopping, and evil-eye shopping and fabric shopping, and ribbon shopping. Quite the event.

Then we went back to the Grand Bazaar because dammit I still wanted the blue moon-and-stars tapestry. Looked at but did not buy a couple more rings, too. Christina parked me at a restaurant and while I drank a mochachino (my first on the trip!) and admired the lovely waiter, bargained for the tapestry for me.

After this we were both pretty exhausted. Took another taxi home, and admired our treasures.

the haulChristina and The Haul.

 

After that it was all dinner and packing and sleep, alas.


Turkey - 03.06.04 § Les Semaines Index § Les Semaines - 03.06.08

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