What would a weekend in Istanbul be without experiencing an authentic shopping experience?. I spend last Friday doing just that and the best description I can give you is a feast of the senses. The ‘Grand Baazar’ is the name of the area and it is THE oldest ‘shopping centre’ in the world. Yes, the oldest. It seems somewhat wrong however, to be referring to it as a shopping centre because modern flooring, big windows and McDonalds type establishments it was not. Every smell and feeling surrounded you as you wandered through a maze of indoor side streets. The roof was covered in the most amazing mosiacs I have ever seen (rivalling the mosques nearby which is no mean feat). The floors were big stone slabs and at every second intersection there were marble water taps to help you recuperate! Smells of turkish cofffee, spices, perfume and the buzz of people filled the air. From bags and shoes to silks, jewellery, watches and antique furniture, there was lots to keep you amused.
The Old Town which is where the Baazar is located is full of restaurants, bars and tourist attractions. It is a truly authentic city with welcoming locals and tonnes of quirky cafes and side streets to wander through. I loved every minute and will be coming back to Ireland with three gorgeous (if not genuine) designer bags for under €100. Will post pics of them when I am back. Off to Kusadasi now for final week of my summer holiers!