You can never have a bad day when chocolate pudding is served at breakfast! And, we were greeted by this amazing golden view.
I was looking forward to see the much talked about Grand Bazaar. Honestly, it wasn’t as exciting as the souk in Fes, Marrakech and Cairo. The souk in these cities are more rustic and ancient. It felt more like walking through a souk in Dubai.
Love the ceilings of the bazaar though.
Turkish lamps, which I wish I could bring home!
The heart of every souk is its sellers, which I was more than delighted to capture, although I wish I was a little bit quicker to capture their actions.
From “chai” sellers to kebab and pide, they were all smiles. (Except for one selling salami in the spice bazaar who was kinda hostile. Haha)
Here is Okan, our boss, a patient driver and awesome travel buddy for the 12 days in Turkey!
Spice Bazaar was more alive. And when I say alive, I mean it’s really bustling with humans! That’s where the locals go too. While being pushed amidst the crowd, Okan asked giggling, “So, do you feel lucky to be staying in Singapore now?” Hahaha..tough question, my friend.
Love the vibes here more than the Grand Bazaar! The smiles on everyone’s faces, the buying and selling, the colours, scent and smell of spices and coffee beans. My kind of souk!
Olives – for breakfast, lunch and dinner for me!
Just look at those cheery faces!
I bought pomegranate-honey based Turkish sweets from the famous Hazer Baba (not these).
Poor Okan had to carry a few kilos of sweets for us. We would squabble over the bag and he would grab any opportunity to carry it for me the moment I put it on the floor!
Other than the Spice Bazaar, my favourite visit was to Suleymaniye Mosque. The courtyard of the mosque reminds me of pictures my ex boss shared with me of the mosques in Syria 😦 Please visit this mosque and its beautiful backyard.
After lunch, we did our Zohor at Yeni Camii Mosque, which was also under restoration. We decided to give the locals space to pray, so we just did our Jama’ and left quickly.
Ladies’ area are inside (above) and just outside of that room (below).
The plan was to take the Bosphorus cruise but sadly, we didn’t have the rizq as it was a foggy day. The operators rather not depart as there’s hardly any view. So everyone agreed not to even take the privately run ones.
We opt for a relaxing time over Turkish coffee instead. It’s nicer than I thought! It’s almost dark chocolate like. Yummmms.
Tips: If you are not a Turkish coffee drinker (like my mum), I suggest bringing a tumbler with you and prepare your own coffee at breakfast. Some restaurants don’t serve nescafe, only Turkish coffee.
We stopped by Arasta Bazaar, a quieter shopping area where mainly local artists would sell their work. Sorry, no photos taken here! I fell in love with mini spice grinder and bought them as souvenirs. Heavier than I thought! Okan jokingly asked if I was going to sell them.
We said goodbye to our local city guide who couldn’t join us for dinner, sadly.