If you have never been to Istanbul or you miss it dearly, I hope you are ready for a virtual trip to one of the cities that changed Europe’s face through history.
Please make sure that your seat is in the right position, that your seat belt is fastened and that your solar panels and table are up. On behalf of our team, I wish you a pleasant flight and a nice stay! Thank you for choosing our airline.
The real Istanbul experience is to roam the narrow streets, to get lost in the vegetables or fish markets, to taste the traditional food in places that don’t look fancy more than tasty, to negotiate shoes or bags in the Grand Bazaar, to hail a ‘taxsi’ and speak the sign language, to get caught by rain on a boat with no adequate equipment, to taste cheese right in the middle of a street, to try Turkish delight for the first time in your life (willingly) in the Egyptian Market, to smell all sorts of spices around you, to touch Pashmina scarfs and to see how they would look on you, to eat a lot of Turkish Yoghurt, to take photos of the Galata Bridge by night, to explore the old and mysterious Water Cistern (the Inferno by Dan Brown fans will know about it), to drink pomegranate fresh juice, to enjoy every bit of the Miniaturk Museum, to taste their mouth-watering “baklava”, to yell at a map for not taking you where you wanted, to go to a mosque (take off your shoes), and allow your mind to drift away in the silence and to finally surrender yourself to the magical city called Istanbul.
Also, here is a summary of the Turkish Bazaars:
Madame! Madame! Come inside!
I have Chanel, Versace, Vuitton, Moschino scarves!
Real silk or Pashmina!
Madame! Madame! We have Turkish Delight! Come, come! With pistachio, honey, nuts, with everything!
And, for you, madame, only 5 Turkish Lira a box!
Madame! Madame! Special offer, only for you! 40 lira 100% cotton shirts! Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, USPA! Come inside, I have another shop! Let me show you!
Madame! Madame! How much would you give for this scarf? 800 lira? 700?
My last offer is two for 1550 lira!
Madame! Madame! From what country are you from? Russia?
Natasha? Sasha? Dasha?
Salut, ce faci?
Madame! Madame! What size do you wear? Come, try some sandals! Really good leather, madame! Turkish handmade leather! Not China!
Madame! Madame! Come back! Come back!
So, this is every Bazaar in Istanbul.
There are no rules out there. It’s just like in a jungle. The seller who attracts the most clients is the Lion King, of course, while your wallet is the delicious gazelle.
You are surrounded by aromatic herbs and spices, by colorful pieces of Turkish delight, by fake perfumes, by copy-cats of the famous Celine bags, by multicolored scarves of any material you would like and by dozens of people.
Although the Bazaars can be tiring, they are some experiences that you don’t get to relive, so just explore them and try to take all their madness in.
I guarantee you, you’ll fall in love with Istanbul without even knowing it!
I hope you enjoyed this travel tour around a city that mixes perfectly so many cultures, leaving you with the distinct wish of wanting to return!