chapter lx

Posts Tagged ‘Grand Bazaar

What a full day yesterday. I walked from about 10 in the morning until 8 in the evening. Started out at the Grand Bazaar, gave it a good two hours. The place is huge, and like the Spice Market, sells almost everything, although I think the Spice Market has more practical things. I didn’t cover the whole Bazaar though, so can’t be sure. Every booth wants to draw you in, leather jackets, purses, ceramics, jewellery, scarves, shawls, textiles, drums, belly dancing costumes, on and on and on. Often it is the same thing over and over, so when you see something special, it really stands out. And crowds. Istanbul is a crowded city, people everywhere. I left the Bazaar thinking I would go over to the Blue Mosque, but somehow was twisted around, so walked for a long time in completely the wrong direction, up hills and down stairs cut into the sidewalks where it is steep, like San Francisco. Saw a huge mosque, so thought I might as well go inside and maybe orient myself. It was closed for prayer, so sat in the courtyard where it was cool and quiet, and talked for about an hour with an Australian traveler and we told each other stories. He was a little lost too, but we figured out where we were, and he headed me in the right direction when we left. Made my way to the bridge and transit to go over to Taksim, in what is called New Istanbul. From there, I walked all along Istikal Cadessi, down to Galata Tower where I had a very nice Anatolian meal. Stuffed melon with rice, ground beef, olives and herbs. I could taste dill. Very tasty.

I thought I might as well walk over the bridge, but it was not the bridge I thought, the Galata Bridge which is close to where I am staying. It was the farther bridge, so when I crossed, nothing looked familiar, and I thought I was lost again, but following the water found familiar sights, and got home. Tired, my legs did not want to move again. Had some nice experiences walking along the Iskital Cadessi. It is a very long pedestrian mall, with many upscale shops, chains, and I counted three Starbucks. Toward the bottom there are many music shops, so I looked at drums. Stopped at one, and sat drumming on a lovely small djembe while the owner played a large resonant djembe. He would give me a rhythm and then take off on wild eastern rhythms. It was fun, drumming is good anywhere. I would love to buy that drum, it is only about $50 but how to get it home? The thought of lugging anything extra just doesn’t work, and I really don’t have that money to spend. The credit cards are already bloated from coming here.

I am not feeling well today, began yesterday. Traveler’s tummy, and a wicked headache. I guess I will find a pharmacy and get on with my day. Last day here, will go to Aya Sofya and maybe a hamam. It is another beautiful day out there, and plenty of things to walk around to see.