As I continue posting our trip to Turkey, the major attractions are a wonder to behold, but the street scenes and our surroundings also draw the eye, like this brass shoe shine stand in the hotel lobby. I was approached by a gypsy on the street with this very same piece of equipment. And I really needed my shoes polished, but we were on the move and we couldn’t stop on a street corner for me to have my shoes refreshed.
During our bus ride to the Turkish bath, Usla pointed out the recycler following the garbage truck. Joan Zucker pointed out that the garbage trucks play classical music while picking up garbage. Isn’t that a hoot?
A fancy birdcage greets us every morning in the hotel on our way to breakfast. The food changes somewhat every day, but the food buffets at our hotels, knock your socks off.
You can see fruit, yoghurt, honey, baklava, sausage, cucumbers, cheese, tomatoes, mushrooms, eggs, black and yellow apricots, raisins and at the back, strawberries, cereal.
Here we have olives, carab pods, garbanzo beans, nuts and marinated cheeses with herbs, rice and cereals. At the back is syrups and seasonings of all sorts and milk.
The cheeses are many and varied. You can see dried figs, beets, turkish delight, cashews, pomegranates, and parsley.
The juice bar.
The hot dishes, savory filled roles, egg dishes, stews and meats with rice and breads.
Of course there was turkish coffee, tea and water. We sat at tables that looked out through open windows on the beautiful Marmara Sea. This day was overcast, but other days were sunny. And one of those days a big gull came in and began eating off the plate of someone who left the table to get something else. And, as unbelievable as it sound, all breakfasts were like this one or better at our hotels.
And if you need a snack while you are out, you can always pick up a boiled egg from the lobby. This basket of eggs was about two and a half feet long. We don’t know if they were part of the wedding or what?
Yesterday, I posted Topkapi Museum? Immense color portraits of these interesting sultans in colorful garb don’t compare to these small black and white drawings in the lobby. It is the same inspiration we might find in our hotels or public buildings, a reminder of our great leaders with pictures of Washington or Lincoln.
They kind of remind me of youthful meanderings after reading Arabian Nights, the romantic Calef riding across the desert with a sword by his side and rescuing the equally exotic princess.
They are just ordinary to the locals. Ahh, I know exotica and relish it when I see it.
But I dally. On to the Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest and largest covered outdoor markets in the world. It has 3,600 shops and 58 streets. They have categories, gold, silver jewelry, leather shops and so on. Here you can find anything you want.
Things made with Crystals.
Ceramics of great beauty.
You can find quality and glitz.
Or a tailor to hand make your clothing. Obviously this short man cannot buy clothing to fit off the rack.
And food in bulk, just like in the spice market.
When you buy these stuffed black and yellow cots, or hazlenut chocolate delights, they are packed in fancy boxes and make great gifts.
The main street is a wide avenue.
Owen and I wandered some of the smaller side streets and it is important to know your direction to get back to your original entrance. Owen bought a souvenir dagger, similar in size as the Topkapi dagger. And, luckily he has a good sense of direction or I probably would still be wandering the bazaar.
I looked at textiles because cloth items are easier to carry in a suitcase. I wanted something with the famous tulips on them.
There were many choices.
I like scarves and the market had many scarf booths. I ended up here and bought three scarves for $400 after a lot of dickering. The merchant wanted his picture taken with us and gave us his card. I left there thinking to myself, did I really pay $400 for three scarves?
They are pretty persuasive salesmen. And the scarves are cashmere and silk. This one from the Mevlana area.
This one is Kurdish with two Moslem letters or words from the Ottoman Empire and sewn with some gold threads.
Cappadocia with a beautiful leaf repetitive pattern. They are of excellent quality and feel like velvet. Long enough to stretch from one side to the other of my queen sized bed.
I hope you are appreciating that so far, all my Turkey blogs, are excursions we made on our first day in the country. You can double-click on any of these pictures to enlarge them and arrow back to return to the blog. I hope you are enjoying taking this trip with Owen and me. And, I cannot find a spelling or definition for the word Calef that I believe is a word for a leader similar to a general or minor Sultan. If anyone can help me, please do. More tomorrow.