Elsewhere in Istanbul…

 

The Grand Bazaar is a must see tourist attraction in Istanbul. Even if you don’t plan on shopping, everyone must go. It is one of the oldest bazaars in Turkey. There are thousands of shops selling gold jewelry, leather apparel, trinkets, and tourist gadgets.  There were many shops that were selling the same product. Most of the time, people are expected to negotiate and haggle for a price on the products. That concept was a little outside my comfort zone, but my professor was very talented in the art of haggling. It was always entertaining to observed. We didn’t spend much time in the Grand Bazaar. It was a little overwhelming. People can easily get lost in there. Later we went to the Egyptian Spice Market. This market was much smaller and more manageable. The most common thing to buy there was loose tea and herbs. If a person purchased tea or herbs, the vendor would vacuum seal the product for travel. Our group cruised through both these places pretty fast.

 

One of the last toured events we had was a boat tour of the Bosphorus. It is the small body of water between the two sides of Istanbul. It also separates the continents of Europe and Asia. Our tour guide explained to us that any piece of property on the Bosphorus is very expensive. If you want just a small flat in an apartment building, still plan to spend at least one million U.S. dollars. Some of the houses ranged from 800-900 million U.S. dollars.  Some of the most expensive property in Istanbul lies on the Bosphorus. We also passed by a current military academy, the old Sultan’s summer “house”, and some of the most expensive hotels in Istanbul. After touring the busy city of Istanbul for two days, this boat tour was a relaxing way to transition to our next tours. 

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