The Grand Bazaar, Istanbul
The Grand Bazaar or Kapali Carsi is one of the most prominent tourist spots of Istanbul. As the name suggests, the Grand Bazaar is huge. In Turkish Grand is called Kapali while mini is called Kuchuk. Remember the 'Kuchuk' Hagia Sophia? Well we had heard and read a lot about the Grand Bazaar and it was a spot not to be missed even in our tight schedule. However I did not have much expectations. We had saved money and time to shop from the famous Chatu Chak Market in Bangkok. We had so much expectations from that grand weekend market that we did not shop anything from anywhere. But the outcome was rather disappointing. Th market was so huge and the prices were so fluctuating that we could not buy anything. Also we spent a lot of our precious time in commuting to and fro from our hotel to the Chatu Chak market which was at the other end of Bangkok. In all we bought a purple colour suitcase from there which cost us a lot of money. At the end we were left with just 40 bahts (just enough to buy bus tickets) and with no money changers as it was already evening. Again the flipside? I have not been able to use that purple suitcse till now because its not sturdy enough!! Have I complained enough?
|Crazy shoppers even on a Monday morning!!|
So the Grand Bazaar of Turkey held no importance in terms of shopping for me. We had kept it on our list as a site to be visited and not to shop. Whatever I had to buy, I had done it from the local markets.
|People were buying items as if they were being distributed for free!!|
It was a Monday but still the city was very crowded. I mean there were tourists everywhere. It took quite a while to push and shove and enter the huge market. The Grand Bazaar is a huuuuge shopping complex all under a single roof. I think ancient, big Arabic markets are all like these. Remember the Spice Bazaar?
As soon as we entered, there were people buzzing, lights glittering and chaos all around. There are thousand of shops; from dry fruits to spices to clothes to original designer pieces to their rip offs...the shops sold them all. You think of something, you are bound to find that here. For a shopaholic like me it was really surprising that I did not buy anything. We were in a hurry, we had our flight back to Delhi to catch. If you remember Kenan, the younger brother of the landlord of Sofia Apartments, he worked in Grand Bazaar. It was the last time we would meet him and he had invited us to his shop. I remembered the address on his card and we asked people for directions. It was quite in the interiors and it took a fair share of pushing and shoving to reach there.
|It was quite a struggle to reach the Ali baba Shop!|
He greeted us warmly and his shop was really exquisite. As a token of remembrance, he gifted us two cute Turkish bowls. We bade him goodbye and left. There are so many people we come across during journeys. But friendships with some people are meant for life :)
|With Kenan in his beautiful shop..|
Purse:; Furla Candy
Hat: Accessorize (from Malaysia)