**Seeing all that has been happening in Turkey, I was reminded that I should finish writing about our wonderful experience in Istanbul last September.**
When TL and I decided to go to Istanbul, I immediately thought of The Grand Bazaar. I imagined it to be a colorful place lined with spices, jewelry, etc. And it was actually very close to what I pictured in my head. It was beautiful.
While we were in Istanbul, we met 3 friends, two of which live in Istanbul. One of them is Hasan, and he took us on a tour of The Grand Bazaar. What was extremely neat about Hasan is that he worked in The Grand Bazaar for 40 years as a carpet salesman. He knew his way through that maze of shops like the back of his hand. He seemed to know most all of the people working, too, and as we followed him through the Bazaar, we were stopped constantly while he waved hello, shared a few words with old friends, and introduced us to his old coworkers. He seemed like royalty, and everyone loved seeing him.
Hasan spoke in Turkish to most of the people working and he figured out how to wheel and deal for us. We left with an authentic Turkish rug, jewelry, accessories, scarfs, and memories that I will cherish forever. He even bought me a special bracelet that he said would bring me good luck.
And it sure did.
If you go to Turkey to visit the Bazaar, give yourself plenty of time to get lost, explore, and soak it in. I could have spent an entire day in there looking at all of the treasures. Also, shop around. If you find something you like, make sure you keep shopping because some stores will be selling the same exact thing for less.
They offered us delicious hot tea in every shop we visited with Hasan. This was at Zaida - which is a scarf shop that you must find if you visit the Bazaar. Hasan said it is an authentic shop with the best quality scarves. I bought two!
Hasan, Viktoria, me, and TL
It felt like we were old friends. We love Hasan!
This experience seems like a good dream to me now. Hasan, the beautiful treasures in this old historic place, and the experience of it all. It was a special day!