Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bazaars of Istanbul

A bazaar is basically a market in a permanent enclosed merchandising area or a street of shops where goods are sold.

Istanbul has loads of these things. One of them being the Grand Bazaar, one the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. The Grand Bazaar is on every touristy list you can find and I see why. It’s a sight to see, despite it being quite the confusing labyrinth.

Covering 60 streets, with 3,000 shops, 22 entrances and up to 400,000 visitors a day, this place is pretty bonkers.

Carpets, tea, lamps, scarves, pottery, chess sets, harem pants, jewelry, antiques and so so so much more.

We went for a few hours one day. It was around 10 or 11, and I’m glad we got an earlier start, as it wasn’t too busy. Towards late afternoon it was getting rather hectic and “is this person going to pickpocket me?”-esque.

I did find some goodies. The bowl I mentioned earlier, some apple tea and a pashmina from a young, good looking, smooth talking Turkish guy we all instantly fell in love with.

The Egyptian Bazaar, also known as the Spice Bazaar was one of the top things I wanted to do in Istanbul. I’ve been getting my cook on and wanted some spices!

We stopped at one of the first vendors and it was great! He let us try everything and we probably spent a total of $100 worth of tea and spices between the four of us… which is pretty hard to do in Turkey.

I bought some loose-leaf apple tea, Turkish Chili Spice, Ottoman BBQ Spice, Curry Spice and then a package of 12 assorted spices. Yum.

What’s a girl to do with 15 new spices?

There’s something you should know about me- I loathe packaging. I hate items that come in packaging that you then have to re-seal or crumple up the top or have a separate clamp to keep it closed. I’m seriously getting the heebie jeebies just thinking about it. If it’s resealable, great; but these were 15 different flimsy plastic containers and baggies that needed some organization.

So Dan helped me make my very first spice rack! I love that it’s out in the open, as they do get some serious use. 

Thanks to Miki for many of the pictures! 

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