In this post I would like to talk about:
- our hotel
- the Grand Bazaar
- Turkish Baths
What too was interesting was a leather goods workshop next door we could see people working shifts at. The Bosphorus was visible from the rooftop. The staff were very gracious and accommodating. We were very comfortable there for our 4 night stay. But, Turkish coffee takes some getting used to. I liked it, Marie not so much.GRAND BAZAAR We walked to the Grand Bazaar. It is a huge indoor/outdoor shopping experience with 61 covered streets and 4000 shops. It attracts 250,000+ people every day. In 2014, it was listed as the world’s number 1 tourist attraction with over 91,000,000 annual visitors. We marveled at the colours, fabrics, artisan creations, kiosks, carpets, jewelry, cafes and throngs of people speaking in many different languages. It is a 560 year old marketplace. We were not the first ones to be so overwhelmed! The huge Spice Bazaar near the Golden Horn is jam packed with colourful spices, fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, people and vendors. It is just as impressive. CARPETS
There are carpets everywhere for sale in Istanbul. These are very beautiful. We were walking down the street when a man offered us some unsolicited tourist advice. Then he asked if we wanted to buy a carpet. It would soon become a standing joke “Would you like a carpet with your fries?”
Travelling with a suitcase we were not about to buy a carpet but we came very close. Of course they offer overseas shipping but we resisted the temptation. It is a common experience that many visitors are not adequately prepared to deal with well here. Scams happen. Here is an article on how not to get scammed when buying a Turkish carpet.TURKISH BATHS Turkish Baths or Hammans are everywhere in Istanbul. They are places of public bathing associated with the Islamic world. It focuses on water. Men and women are separated and each given a private change room. You then start with relaxation in a room with warm water and hot humid air. You then move to an even hotter room with a heated pedestal that you lie on. Finally you wash down in cold water. You can have an optional message too before moving to the final cooling down room. Being adventuresome, we decided to try it. It was very proper, relaxing and cleansing. We enjoyed it. When in Istanbul or anywhere in Turkey, a not to be missed experience that we recommend.