from the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul turned out to be a fun and interesting experience. It is not just seeing the tourists on the street – it is seeing the city as it normally is with the trams packed with people, the shoppers out for a quick purchase and the vendors not just in the shops but peddling on every street corner out to make every last lira whenever and wherever possible.
I spent hours wandering through the Bazaar itself stopping here and there mostly to compare the prices on leather jackets (so I don’t make a decent vegan at all…) and the occasional piece of silver. I met a number of pleasant merchants and turned down more than one offer of tea. Just about all of them speak at least some English but it was fun talking to one gentleman in particular who grew up in Munich. Then, while walking back along the tram tracks I stopped in a few of the fancy stores that cater to the tourist even more than the Bazaar and price everything in Euros. Prices in the outshops were in Euros what the Bazaar wanted in Lira. Having carefully looked at the leather quality and workmanship, there wasn’t a difference.
Sitting upstairs in a cafe at present, then will finish the walk over the bridge to “my side of the water” for the evening. Tomorrow I plan on the Maritime Museum and one of the Palaces both of which are a nice hike from the ship.