Our second day in Istanbul, Jeremy and I decided to take some time to expore the Fatih District, which encompasses much of historic Constantinople. We wanted to save all of the touristy stuff for our last day in Istanbul (everything was closed due to the New Year's Eve holiday) so we decided to explore the Spice Bazaar and the Grand Bazaar.
To get to our destination, we had to walk across the Galata Bridge which spans the Golden Horn. Walking along the Galata Bridge itself is an adventure. If you walk underneath the bridge you pass by a plethora of seafood shops. I highly recommend you stop at the last restaurant and pick up a fish sandwich for 5 TL. Completely worth every single lira (and it makes for great hangover food). If you choose the main upper level walkway, it's always crowded with fishermen at all times of the day. No matter which pathway you choose, if you're walking toward the Fatih District you get the most stunning view of the New (Yeni) Mosque.
After filling our stomachs with our delicious fish sandwiches, we headed toward the Spice Bazaar. I really wish I took more pictures inside (instead of just the entrance) but I was too distracted by all the Turkish men trying to wife me. Being Asian, I was obviously a tourist, which resulted in a lot of shop owners yelling out "Konichiwa!" in order to attract my attention. It doesn't matter that I'm not even Japanese. If I ever need to find a husband quickly, I'll be sure to return to the Spice Bazaar and make my rounds.
The Spice Bazaar was definitely my favorite of the two Bazaars in Istanbul. It's way smaller with only around 88 shops but it was still bustling with various spices, teas, and dried fruits to lend some vibrancy to the atmosphere. It's still currently the center for spice trade in Istanbul
Our next stop was the Grand Bazaar, which is one of the largest covered markets in the world with thousands of shops and hundres of thousands of daily visitors. Construction of the bazaar began in 1455 and was finally completed in 1730. I loved looking up at the ceiling to see all of the old architecture which included beautiful brickwork and tile-covered ceilings. It's said that the Grand Bazaar was built to reduce the possibility of theft since they could shut the gates to the shopping center when it was closed.
I was incredibly tempted to buy almost everything I saw except for the fact that, being a tourist hot spot, everything is overpriced. Jeremy convinced me to wait until we got to the shops in Malatya, which is in the east of Turkey, an area far from being a tourist attraction. He actually knows a guy who used to work in the Grand Bazaar for a few years in a rug shop. Apparently they used to lay out rugs, wait for tourists to walk all over them, and then sell them as "antiques" to other customers. A clever, but extremely dishonest business tactic.
H&M Sweater (similar)
Vintage Patterned Skirt
DKNY Black Tights
Ruffle Loafers c/o Pink & Pepper
We spent the rest of the day wandering the surrounding area before settling down in a cafe for some Turkish coffees. I'm more fond of Turkish tea, but I love that you can read your fortune using the leftover residue from Turkish coffee. Once you finish slurping down your coffee, you turn the little cup upside down on the saucer and let it dry for a few minutes. Once everything is relatively dry, you can flip the cup right side up and have a friend "read" the coffee splotches on the inside of the cup. So much fun, although I always get too silly with the ones I tell.