Before you visit one of the world’s most famous souq (market), you must be mentally prepared to fend off and banter with the hundreds of shopkeepers who will attempt to lure you into their shops. We’ve been told that it is very likely that we will end up purchasing a carpet here for the carpet salesperson tend to be very persuasive in getting you to part with your money. A couple of friends ended up with carpets from Turkey. I’m not sure if these were purchased at the Grand Bazaar but there are several of these carpet stalls scattered all over the marketplace.
Well, a carpet was certainly not a souvenir item that we had any desire of purchasing and bringing it back to Singapore. Sparky will probably end up destroying it plus we weren’t interested in maintaining the carpet. So before entering the Bazaar, we actually did our homework and armed ourselves with a list of excuses to counter any argument that the carpet-seller may throw at us.
With over 4,000 shops and several kilometers of lanes, the Grand Bazaar is like a covered city of its own catering to every conceivable shopping need. I thought it was more like a labyrinth. Getting lost in its maze of lane-ways is obligatory for first-time visitors and we often found ourselves at the start before attempting to turn into another lane-way.
You could get just about everything and anything you need here at the Grand Bazaar from antiques, Turkish ceramics, gold/silver/precious stones jewellery, carpets, lamps, spices, etc – just to name a few. We steered clear of shopkeepers trying to sell anything that resembled a carpet or a rug. The only thing I got was 2 bracelets. I think we didn’t do a very good job of bargaining, I probably could get it for much lesser outside if I looked hard enough for a similar piece. Arh well, at least it was an experience.
There are several places that make good coffee and tea-stops within the Bazaar. We decided to take a break from all that window-shopping for some Turkish tea and snacks. The Man ordered a trio of Turkish pastries which turned out to be really sweet for the pistachio pastry was simply soaked in honey. That little nibble that I took of the pastry gave me the much-needed energy boost as I was really tired out from the day’s walking plus the lunch we had wasn’t too satisfying for me.
I must say that it was rather enjoyable getting ‘lost in this labyrinth’ of shops for a couple of hours. During this time, I also managed to fool around with my camera and the above are some of the shots that I took which I’m really pleased with. What do you think?