Plan today was a visit to the famous Grand Bazaar, but first was a shave for me and Jayesh, Turkish style. The local barbers place was around the corner from our hotel – everything was so close.
Shaved and feeling good, we headed to the Grand Bazaar, which was another short walk , being central to all the major sights is soooo handy
Some sights en-route to Grand Bazaar…
Along the way were lots of Jewellery stores which the ladies could not resist. The short walk turned into a rather long one (well in duration atleast)!!
Finally made it to the Grand Bazaar, too many people all flooding in. The place is huge and busy, having over 4000 shops. It was the very first undercover shopping mall in the world.
Every store person was trying to lure us in, and bargaining was a must, prices were always 200 % or more.
All sorts of stores were there, specialising in Shoes, Bags, artefacts, Sweets, Jewellery and many more….. to many to list. Nita and Priya found some interesting beauties.
The place also had lots of eateries, all within the Grand Bazaar and tastefully decorated. We had lunch at the the Havuzlu Turkish restaurant, food was average, Turkish food in Istanbul has been a big let-down, were expecting much more than this!!
Then it was more browsing of the bazaar….. lots of and lots to see. At every stall/shop, people would guess where we are from in an attempt to lure us in to the shop (there is lots of cheapy salesman style talk going on here).
Too much walking = tired feet, remedy = coffee break. Around 4 pm everyone’s feet were tired – had been through too much walking, was time for a coffee break. Found a coffee shop, also inside the grand bazaar.
Made our way to the exit and started for our hotel. Had found a shorter walk and passed through some very picturesque streets..
The shortcut route to the hotel was great, we made it in under 10 minutes of walk time. Time to freshen up, then head out for the evening, plan was to first go out for drinks then to dinner. To many options here!!
At every restaurant and bar, people again luring you in by tring all sorts of cheesy lines.
Finally settled at the LOKUM Pub,
(Nita & Priya being lured into the pub)
Finger foods were not too bad but nothing to rave about, however what I was really loving and getting very fond of, Efes Beer – this was sooo good when perfectly chilled. The Pub was good to just chill out and relax. Spent around an hour there, it was around 9:30 now and we still had to have dinner. Headed out to find something that was NON-turkish, we had enough of Turkish by now. Ended up at the Rumeli restaurant, ladies ordered Italian – which turned out excellent, Jayesh and I were on a liquid diet and carried on with that – Efes Beer was just fine!!
Ladies thoroughly enjoyed the pastas, much better than the local turkish cuisine. Our waiter was great and shared some amazing jokes with us.
Water pipes were next, only had to go across the street from Rumeli for this. We happen to sit next to a german lady accompanied by a local Turkish guy – who our ladies thought was OOOOOOMG!!! Quickly made friends with him, he introduced us to the local Turkish drink “RAKI”, this was not too bad at all – an aftertaste of liquorice. Ordered two Water Pipes, Apple Mint and Orange Mint flavours, both flavours were very good. All had a great time there. Shared some great laughs
(Emil and his girlfriend, great company)
It was past midnight before we finished. Time to head back.