|One of the long halls|
While in Istanbul we succumbed to what all first time visitors do and visited the Grand Bazaar. Having visited sauks in Dubai I thought I knew what to expect but nothing could have prepared me for the epic scale of Istanbul's great bazaar. There are numerous smaller shopping areas throughout the city and we inadvertently wandered through several of those during our stay. The Grand Bazaar, however, is the granddaddy of them all.
The bazaar itself dates back to 1461. It was originally designed to be a local shopping market and in some cases it still is today. However, I doubt any of its original architects would recognize it as such. Today's bazaar encompasses over 60 streets and 5,000 shops and attracts upwards of 350,000 visitors a day. Fortunately we visited on a "quiet" Monday but I still found the crows overwhelming.
|That's a lot of silver|
|Some body's watching you|
We did walk away with a few small sales. It turns out that Glenn is a haggler. Who knew? I knew I wanted to purchase some saffron from one of the spice vendors. Glenn stepped up to the plate and haggled our way into a significant purchase that would have broken the bank had I ordered it from my regular on-line spice store. I also scored a kilogram of delicious apple tea. We had tried it on several occasions and I wanted to recreate our Istanbul experience back in Tirana. We also bought a few other items which I will refrain from discussing since the lucky recipients just might be reading this.
|Spices, spices, spices|