[9 MARCH 2016, WEDNESDAY]
I got off the ferry at the Eminönü ferry terminal and quickly leisurely made my way across the main street and through some buildings…
And found myself in a bazaar looking place. I thought I have arrived at the Spice Bazaar, but apparently… not yet. This is called the Flower Bazaar, and it is sort of like next to the Spice Bazaar. It is much smaller and strangely, even though it is called the Flower Bazaar, most of the stalls here sell pets and pet related items. 🙄
Cutting across the Flower Bazaar, I arrived at the back of this somewhat magnificent mosque. It is called the Yeni Cami (New Mosque).
The Turkish name of this bazaar is actually Mısır Çarşısı, so technically this place should be called the Egyptian Bazaar. But because this bazaar sells mostly spices, it is also called the Spice Bazaar.
No, I did not buy any spices here. It would be a waste of money, I don’t even know how to use them…
I did not enjoy being in here. Every 5 steps I took, someone approached me and claimed to be my long lost best friend. Or that he has a Malaysian wife. When Malaysian did not elicit any response, it changed to Singaporean/Thai/Vietnamese/Japanese. It was too much. I quickly realized I had to GTFO from here. Get The F**k Out.
I lasted not more than 2 minutes, and it took me another 5 minutes to finally be able to squeeze my way out of “hell”.
Then I decided to make my way to the Grand Bazaar.
I was told that the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered marketplace in the world.
I suppose this would be a dream place to many. It is historical site + architecture + shopping, three in one package. But not me. I was annoyed with having to evade so many “new best friends” in the Spice Bazaar, and the situation was much worse here, because while there the crowd is not as terrible here because the place is so much larger, there are infinitely more shops in this bazaar.
And seriously, this place is a real f**king labyrinth! The place is called the Grand Bazaar, but the bazaar is made up of a few different sub bazaars, like the Antique Bazaar, Leather Bazaar, Jewelry Bazaar etc.
If the Spice Bazaar was hell to me, then this Grand Bazaar was worse than hell to me! 🙁
I spent less than 30 minutes combined in the two most famous bazaars of Istanbul. And I will never want to come back, ever again.
Of course, it is just me. I don’t deal well with crowds, and especially not with commercial harassment. That’s what those “new best friends” acts are, right? But I can imagine many others would enjoy these places. After all, the bazaars have got glowing reviews from a great many travel bloggers.
Just not from me. Yep…