What a week America has had. I held off posting, because it seemed kind of frivolous to be talking about my great vacation when such awful things were happening. Being 12 hours off from the East Coast gave me an experience that was slightly different than yours. I first heard of the bombings as I woke up, from Facebook posts–the same way I learned of the Newtown school shootings. My Friday morning I decided to see what was going on and turned the tv on to CNN, something I’ve only done a handful of times while here.
I didn’t turn off the tv the rest of the day. News was happening so fast Thursday night, the news feed became like a tv drama–turn away for a few minutes and you’d miss something important. By your Friday morning, the pace of new news slowed considerably and everyone was back to saying the same thing a hundred different ways. It was quite an experience and whether they want to admit it or not, I’m sure those news people were thrilled that something so intense was happening!
I personally am happy that the people of Boston can breath a sigh of relief. I wish a speedy recovery for those hurt in Boston and in Texas.
And really, as irritating as it is to hear those news people jabber on about nothing, I’d say that that’s probably a good thing, considering the alternative.
And now to the post I wrote:
There’s nothing I like better than a good market in a foreign country.
Not far from our hotel was a street of shops–ok, kind of touristy, but there were some interesting things for sale.
Mosaic lamps–very Turkish
Also very Turkish
Scarves are popular around the world.
More mosaic lamps
Be prepared to salivate. Turkish delight and Baklava are rampant in Istanbul. It was amazing. Here’s just a few pictures from a favorite store close to our hotel.
Different variations of baklava.
There’s a whole line of desserts that use shredded wheat (no, I don’t think it’s Nabisco’s!) in different ways.
Different kind of shredded wheat dessert
Nougat with Turkish Delight on either side
We thought it’d be nice to go to the Blue Mosque and check it out, but it was closed for several hours for Friday prayers.
We were able to go into the courtyard though.
Men seemed to be endlessly pouring out of the mosque.
The mihrab, which points the direction to Mecca
Washing before prayers.
Not sure what was going on with these trees.
There were already long lines to get into the mosque and it wasn’t going to be open for quite awhile, so we decided to go to the Grand Bazaar and look for yarn. Might not get to see the inside of that mosque, but that’s ok–there’s no shortage of mosques to see in Istanbul!
Close up. Beautiful building but no indication whether it was a mosque or had some other use. (It had no minarets)
That’s a lot of lamps!
It’s was cold out, but that didn’t stop people from eating outside.
Yet another lamp shop
Think this was an important gate, but don’t know anything about it.
Street inside the gate
Another beautiful building
The gate to the Grand Bazaar. Construction on the Bazaar began in 1461!
More fabulous ceilings inside the bazaar.
Gold bracelet store
It may be the exit gate, but it’s supposed to take us to yarn!
Hmm…any ideas? I don’t have any!
For some reason, it was considerably more crowded out here.
Must be getting close–where there’s fabric, there’s usually yarn!
This is where the locals shop.
Kurkcu Han! We found it! Ok, we did have a little help from a couple of people as we stood puzzling out the map at crucial spots.
Who wants to look like a sultan?
The store I shopped in–crammed with yarn!
Some locals enjoying the sun in the square around the yarn stores.
Back out, to find our way back to the hotel
Wow, who wears this and when?
Wanted to charge me for taking the picture 🙂
This was our best discovery of the day–pomegranate juice. Trust me, Pom Wonderful doesn’t hold a candle to the real stuff!
Lady bug cakes!
Roasted chestnuts are a favorite street food–and they peel them for you here, unlike China where you just have to struggle.
The bubble man, seen everywhere on the streets of Istanbul
This guy didn’t seem to actually be able to play this instrument. Perhaps that’s why he looked so sad.
Tiny tables and chairs! Where the men drink Turkish coffee or this nasty liquor called Rika.
Meredith found our way back to the hotel remembering all the twists and turns we had made, without using the map! Clever, young brains.