Our morning started at the Grand Bazaar. Rich in history, the Grand Bazaar continues to provide millions of shoppers with opportunities to shop ’til they drop.
Millions of visitors a year are able to stroll through the main halls experiencing the fusion between new and old, the traditional and the modern. Rugs, lamps, decorative plates, and souvenirs of all types cover the walls.
Great archways with some original murals provide the visitor with a glimpse of what it must have been like to shop here during different periods the past 6 centuries.
Three hours only allowed for us to shop in a fragment of the over 3,000 stores in the Bazaar, but we were able to purchase most of our souvenirs and trinkets.
After a stop for lunch, we started a 20 minute walk down the busy streets of Istanbul to the Spice Bazaar. The walk there is filled with more shops selling everything from wedding dresses to toys. People filled these streets on this Saturday afternoon providing us with a great perspective of the Turkish people.
Hundreds of stores fill this building. If you are looking to buy some fresh Turkish Delights, Baklava or Turkish tea leaves, the Spice Bazaar is the place for you.
Spices can be purchased and vacuum packed so that you can easily store them in your luggage and bring them home.
Baklava, Turkish Delights and other pastries can be purchased by the kilo.
Adjacent to the Spice Bazaar sits one of Istanbul’s most recognizable landmarks, the Yeni Cami, or New Mosque. It was inaugurated in 1665 and sits on the Haliç, Golden Horn, an inlet off the Bosphorus. The Mosque is an impressive structure that shows the riches of the Ottoman Empire.
We were invited to a superb Lamb dinner by the CEO of the Bayraktar Group, Mustafa Bayraktar, and his lovely wife, Ayşe Can Bayraktar, and headed to dinner at the headquarters of the Bayraktar Group, after a short rest.
Founded in 1958, Bayraktar is one of Turkey’s leading companies, employing over 1,100 people.
The company’s headquarters is located on the location of Sultan Selim II’s hunting lodge and is built as a replica of the Sultan’s lodge. Bayraktar has done an extraordinary job of bringing this piece of Turkish history back to life.
The property overlooks the Bosphorus and has a view of the European and Asian sides of Istanbul.