Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I left my heart in.....#2...Istanbul....

 
These Harem Slippers....straight out of the Arabian Nights, right?
 
Oh. My. Goodness.
 
Did I tell you we had no intention of visiting Istanbul this trip? Well, ever really?
 
It just wasn't on our radar. We even discussed not getting off the ship as we'd heard scary things about thieves and pickpockets.
 
We sailed in to Istanbul in the early daylight hours of the morning, and one look at that skyline, and there was no way I wasn't getting off.
 
Of course we hadn't booked a tour in Istanbul, so we found our own way around. We didn't have to go far.
 
Having nixed The Grand Bazaar as too big and overwhelming, and having done some research prior to leaving home, and determining (just in case we got brave) that The Spice Market offers everything The Grand Bazaar does on a smaller scale, we made that our destination.
 
With great trepidation and some nervous giggles, we made our way out of the port terminal and wandered through a somewhat industrial, but pleasant enough area, to the bridge that would take us to The Spice Market.
 
We entered The Spice Market via an under bridge tunnel, down into the tunnel, then back up the stairs and out again, where even the tunnel itself is a sort of Bazaar. Shoes, clothing, and funnily, Superglue and Bandaids were on offer. We thought the Superglue and Bandaids rather odd until we reflected on what obviously useful things they are when travelling!
 
I expected a sort of produce market, but let me tell you, it's way beyond that.
 
Apart from the expected spices, sweetmeats, and souvenirs, we ogled luxurious linens...
 
 
....utterly exquisite Swarovski crystal studded teasets...
 

...chandeliers, gorgeous painted detail on the shopfronts and Turkish Delight by the tonne...
 

 
...jewels worthy of a Princess....
 
 
...and of course, the spices...heavenly, exotic, other worldly in their pungency...
 
 
...Note the little hand painted glasses and saucers and the coffee/spice mills in the foreground. Divine.
 
 
This lady astounded us with the load she carried on her head, and clearly even baby's walker is carried similarly!
 
 
These Turkish wedding gowns were to die for. Game of Thrones wedding anyone?
 
We wandered for some hours, purchasing delicate metallic purses to gift to The Divas friends, designer goods at bargain prices, leather goods, exquisite postcards, Turkish Delight in three flavours for the cruise ship staff, and a few other little treats. Travelling with one bag sure makes shopping a task of 'what can I abandon to fit this in my bag'!
 
The verdict? Istanbul is a must see, and not just once, but several times. We loved it. The people (men, almost exclusively men) were lovely, and many very taken with The Diva and her alabaster skin, blue eyes and red hair. One young man, from whom a watch was purchased, tried in vain to make conversation with her, but alas the language difficulties were too great.
 
They were overwhelmingly helpful, eager to please, and fascinated with we Aussies.
 
Put Istanbul on your bucket list. You won't regret it.
 
 
As we sailed out of Istanbul at sunset, viewing the skyline as the sun tinted the mosques purple and gold, how could we not have a pang of regret that we didn't savour more of her exotic wares.
 
Go. You'll love it.
 
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Sharing my travel memories with some friends here too...
 
A Stroll thru Life
Roses of Inspiration
Tuesdays at our Home
The Art of Homemaking

19 comments:

  1. I haven't been Mimi and it was such a delight read your recount!!!! SO much to love. The tea sets arrrhhhhhhggg! Wedding gowns! Gorgeous! So glad you went on to shore. We must get there next trip. Maybe Venice - Istanbul - Paris apartment finale....in two years' time. Xxx

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    1. Flora, I'm so glad we got adventurous....lol! Yes SO much to love! That itinerary sounds good to me :) Mimi xxx

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  2. How fascinating, Mimi. I don't have any plans to travel overseas but will recommend a visit to Istanbul if I hear of any friends travelling in that area.

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    1. Nanna, it was a surprising highlight! Mimi xxx

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  3. It is all like an exotic treasure chest but the crystal studded tea sets!!!! I never knew such a thing existed. Yet now I've seen one it is like surely we all NEED one of the these? I am off to google them!
    That was a joy. xxx

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    1. It is, isn't it Annabel! You'll be happy to know that those crystal studded teasets are available on eBay. Don't faint at the price though! Love, Mimi xxx

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  4. Oh my, those gowns!! I think I swooned when I saw them :) What a delightful place to visit, my friend, and I am so glad you shared this with Roses of Inspiration :)

    Blessings and hugs to you!

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    1. Aren't they just divine Stephanie? My daughter wanted one very much, and she's just 15. Just beautiful. Love, Mimi xxx

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  5. Wow, these pictures are absolutely incredible! I love the wedding dresses especially!

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    1. Thankyou Kira, I'm glad you loved them as much as I did. Mimi xxx

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  6. sounds amazing. thank goodness you did your research and found something more your speed.
    b

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    1. Yes, thank goodness! It always help do know a little about your destination if only to not be swayed by the expensive tours! Thankyou for stopping by. Mimi xxx

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  7. Such gorgeousness! Loved every word you have written about your trip, but particularly Istanbul! But whenever I hear/read/see Istanbul, I can't stop singing 'Istanbul, not Constantinople' out of my head...tell me I am not the only one! XX Fiona

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    1. Lol Fiona! I think you'd love Istanbul too! Mimi xxx

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  8. looks like a great trip and I just love those gowns!

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    1. It was the best ever Connie. The gowns are absolutely to-die-for, aren't they! Thanks for stopping by! Mimi xxx

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  9. Istanbul sounds delightful Mimi.

    I love all the gorgeous photos, definitely looks like a great place to visit.

    xTania

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I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx