From the glass shops and evil-eye bead stands to the carpet boutiques, Istanbul's Grand Bazaar (think extremely ornate mall) offers plenty of goods to take home to family, friends, and of course, ourselves. Carving out a few precious minutes from a shoot last week, my colleague Shiona Turini and I snuck off to spend some dough. Here's a sampler of our shopping tour in Turkey:
First-stop: Meters away from the bazaar entrance. Tunics and satchels, some made from old woven fabrics, others from popular prints a la Burberry, hang from the outdoor stands, tempting buyers to spend before even stepping inside. Purchased tunics for the moms, bags for the sisters. Regret not buying these tie-dye scarves.
Second stop: Inside the bazaar, after a number of left turns. Gorgeous lamps! Wait, those are hookahs...But inside a glass shop, we find lovely actual lamps to hang from our ceilings. Sweet. Even sweeter, the Turkish delights tasted at candy stores--good for roommates and coworkers. Quick stop for Turkish coffee before keeling over from over-stimulus.
Next, bull in a china shop: Rebecca knocks over and breaks small
teacup, buys an entire set out of sympathy. Shiona nabs an assortment
of turquoise bowls.
(Almost) last stop: Sengor carpet shop. Claiming to be the oldest carpet shop in all of the Grand Bazaar, Sengor boasts a beautiful array of rugs old and new. Shiona stepped out for two minutes to purchase some apple tea, leaving Rebecca to buy this rug on a whim.
On way out: Do we buy these beads? We grab a few random colors. There isn't enough time to figure out the color-coded meanings, but they are pretty.
While we didn't quite make it through the 4000+ stores, we did find enough treats to turn our closets and apartments into modern-day caravans.
The easy part: Spending money. The hard part: Schlepping it all home.