I’ve recently been bitten by the desire to travel. There was a moment in time when my flying anxiety, then covid kept me away from significant travel for almost 5 years. But this past summer I was reinvigorated to see some place new and some place beautiful.
I have been dreaming about seeing Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar for years. And when we found ourselves in Italy this summer, I convinced my husband to join me and my parents to help out with the kids for a quick trip to Turkey.
We traveled from Calabria to Turkey, and arrived in Saltanahmet, Istanbul only blocks away from the Grand Bazaar. We immediately fell in love with the narrow cobblestone streets, the roasted chestnuts, and the cats. The cats there are treated like family, each one left food and water and usually a bed to sleep in. We stayed in a really charming boutique hotel and walked everywhere.
Firstly…the food. If you like Mediterranean cuisine, including hummus, anything eggplant, olives and cheese, you’ll be in heaven. Each restaurant has their own little twist on their mezza plate (appetizer plate) and traditional Turkish dishes. And the desserts and wine…baklava and pinot anyone?
If the food doesn’t capture you, then the gorgeous historical monuments that decorate the city will. My favorite spots included the Sophia Hagia, the Blue Mosque, hammams, the underground Cisterns, and rooftop bars where you can drink hot apple tea while you stare at the sunset and watch the night come to life.
Our hammam experience was one for the books, which included going to the wrong location first, only to be directed to an older and shittier hammam that looked super sus, our cab driver hitting a large potted plant, one meltdown in the sauna, and my husband’s bare ass being exposed to entire Indian family (I’m not sure who was more mortified).
All in all, I would highly recommend this beautiful place and try to visit at least once in this lifetime. I will definitely be coming back.
Now let’s talk about the jewelry…I mean, where do I even start? The Grand Bazaar is a crazy place. Bustling from open to close, trying to find the right goods dealer can be tricky. This is the method we found helpful, and employed all three days we were in the Bazaar. We found a beautiful rug store and spoke with the shop keeper for while we bought a little something, created a little bit of a rapport, then we asked him where to find the best ceramics and he would walk us to his friend, introduce us and tell the shopkeeper to give us a good deal :0). Then from there, we would ask for vintage jewelry, old watches, textiles, etc. The goods there are just so well made, mostly by hand, old, and made to last a lifetime. We filled our suitcase with ceramics, textiles, jewelry and baklava and headed back to the kids.
Many of the pieces in our latest Winter Collection are imported from Turkey’s Grand Bazaar. All the large and colorful pieces are from a small shop within the Bazaar. We hope you love them as much as we do!