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The Grand Bazaar
Monday, June 24
The next part of our day was dedicated to exploring a very different but still very famous attraction of Istanbul: the Grand Bazaar (in Turkish, the Kapaliçarşi). It is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, selling every imaginable trinket and good.

First, though, we had to get to the Grand Bazaar. It wasn't far away, less than 1 kilometre from our present position at the Blue Mosque. We walked down the main artery of Divan Yolu Street, past kebab kiosks, past the baclava shop from the night before, and observing many fine examples of Ottoman architecture (for example, the mausoleum of Mahmud II).
Now *thats* a Donair rotisserie
Shops on Divan Yolu Street
Mausoleum of Mahmud II
The Grand Bazaar is indeed a huge place. It consists of 61 covered streets, accessed by 21 different gates. We were now approaching gate #2 - a relatively nondescript-looking opening in a stone wall. Interestingly, there was a security guard stationed at the entrance with a portable metal detector. In we went.
Grand Bazaar Gate 2
Kürkçüler Çarşisi
Gold and Jewelry Section
Inside, it was relatively cool and somewhat dim. There were skylights in the ceiling, but they were few and far between. In some places, the ceiling was made of vaulted wood. In other places, arched and made of stone and brickwork, mortered and painted with patterns and designs. Overall the passageways were more spacious and less crowded than the smaller Spice Bazaar that we had visited the day before. Whether this was simply an "off" day for some reason, we didn't know.
Souvenir area
Jewelry and Calligraphy
Near Carpet section
The Grand Bazaar has over 3,000 shops in it, spread out over an amazing 61 different "streets". Different regions of the Bazaar tended to sell particular types of goods - for example, the section we were now in was devoted primarily to jewelry shops. Other notable areas include the carpet section, the leather goods section, and the furniture section.

Once inside the Bazaar, we once again decided that the best course of action was to split up, so that we could each shop at our own pace. We agreed to meet up in several hours at a designated spot close to gate 2.
The Old Bazaar
Wandering through Old Bazaar
Wandering through Old Bazaar
Jenn and I wandered around the maze of passageways for a good hour. Jenn spent some time haggling with the proprietors of a shop selling t-shirts, managing to wrangle a good discount (or rather, managing to not pay the ridiculously overpriced offer prices). It is generally expected that you can and will haggle for the price of anything that you buy in the Bazaar.
Old Map
Grand Bazaar
Cable Management needed
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[ Return to "European Hopscotch" Home page | Introduction | Switzerland | Oberalpstock I | Oberalpstock II | Alpenbreak | Vorderalp | Rheinwaldhorn I | Rheinwaldhorn II | Return to Germany | Daniel's Birthday | Turkey | Topkapi Palace | Hagia Sophia | Spice Bazaar | Blue Mosque | Grand Bazaar | Süleymaniye Mosque | Galata Tower | Farewell to Turkey | Turkey to Italy | Italy | "Tour" Day | Venice | Ferrata for Sophie | Ferrata for Luke | Epilogue | GPS Data ]

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