Istanbul is a diverse city rich with culture. The vast space if filled with its 16 million inhabitants going about their day to day business. Everyone in Istanbul looks to be going somewhere. Although Istanbul is a cultural city bound to attract tourism my trip proved otherwise. We found it difficult to spot the British tourist in amongst the commuters which for me made the city that extra bit special. Maybe it was the time of year we chose to go, being the beginning of April and barely being out of the winter climate could be the reason tourists had not yet descended on the city.
Istanbul is split into two halves, one side being Asian, the other Europe. We stayed at the Yeditepi University on the Asian side and so commuted from Kadikoy daily by boat to the European side. Commuting allowed me to see aspects of the city I wouldn’t necessarily have seen.
As an avid shopper, true to form I enjoyed my time getting lost in the Bazaar. A bliss with stall upon stall of spectacular merchandise I was able to spend two days searching and shopping. My most favoured purchase being a small scroll enclosed in a glass tube. The scroll is inscribed with Arabic writing, an extract from the Quran and sits beautifully around my neck upon the ‘Key Chain’ Tiffany & Co necklace. The jewellery to be found in the Bazaars always promises to be exquisite and unique so search hard for that unique piece of your own to bring back with you. One important thing to remember when visiting Turkey is to haggle, everything you look to purchase can be discounted and being that extra bit ‘cheeky’ with the seller will always help with the overall discount of your piece. However know what it is your after and have an idea of the price you are willing to pay for your item, the Turkish men are not afraid to sweet talk you into a purchase.
Possibly the best find whilst I was strolling the Bazaar was a beautiful quant store ‘Regina’ (Kapalicarsi Cevahir Bedesteni Serifaga Sosak No:16- 17) The store sets itself aside from all the others with its perfect replicas of designer handbags. The owner was intrigued and only too excitable about comparing my friend’s Mulberry Alexa and my own Bayswater to his imitations. We were impressed, extremely impressed. The owner then proceeded to tell us how Celebrities have in the past visited him for his merchandise, believable only by the photographs he has of himself with various household names such as Sarah Jessica Parker.
To me Turkey is perfection. I love the sights, smells and shopping experiences it presents to me as a westerner in search of authentic culture and breath taking experiences.