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  • Writer's picturePeter Antonucci

Istanbul, Turkey | Day 3

Tuesday | October 14, 2014

The theme for today was shopping, shopping, shopping.

The highlight of the day was the Grand Bazaar.  Dating back to the 15th century, the Grand Bazaar is a essentially a city in itself, replete with mosques, restaurants and banks. It covers 180 streets and boasts more than 4000 shops.  But before we even got there, we stopped at a jewelry store or two - and that cost me!

The Grand Bazaar was everything I thought it would be. But a few observations: unlike Hong Kong, I would suggest that 80% of the merchandise, was high-quality.  Also, there were no beggars or street hawkers, as I presumed would be the case.

Once one enters one of the 18 gates that lead to the city of shopping, the sky is the limit.


The stores go on and on for what seems like (and actually are) miles of shops.


It is estimated that over 250,000 people shop at the bazaar EACH DAY!  And based on what we saw, I have no basis to refute that.  Although I bought over 20 items, a grand total of none of which were for me.

Yes, there were countless jewelry shops.  Interestingly, most Turkish women prefer gold, and not silver or diamonds. As a result, gold abounded throughout the bazaar.  


Also, there were numerous stores that sold ceramics that were machine made replicas of the handmade works we bought in Cappadocia.  


We had lunch at a restaurant that is reputed to be the finest restaurant in Turkey, Nar.  The food was fine, but I actually enjoyed the two previous lunches more, even though they were more informal.

After lunch, we headed back to the bazaar where we continued to do damage. Then, we walked the neighboring streets and went into some very elegant stores. But enough is enough - there's only so much shopping this boy can do!


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