|We spent the morning getting a few things organized including a blogging catch-up.
A nice light lunch at yet another local restaurant preceded our hike to the Spice Market which we decided was within walking distance. However, we also decided that the most expedient route was to follow the tram tracks as our map was not detailed and we know how easy it is to get lost in those twisty windy streets of old town. We do have Google of course but at US$9.00 per meg for Turkish data (ouch!) we try to avoid using it.
This trek took us along Muradiye Caddessi, a fairly main street with less of a tourist contingent than nearer home. We purchased a few beads and trinkets along the way as Rose has determined that I have enough room in my suitcase…
It was a blistering hot afternoon so we sought out shady benches periodically, which worked out fine and we reached the Spice Market in about an hour or so.
What a sight! Hundreds of vendors and thousands of shoppers streaming through a protracted milieux of spices, candy, jewelry, rugs and a lot of other “stuff”. On the outside perimeter streets there was a fish and meat market area as well as fruit vendors.
Curiously the vendors were not as persistent as we had imagined so our family negotiator (Rose) was able to bargain herself an excellent deal for some spice packages. She stuck to her guns on price and managed to close before that Turkish dude knew what hit him! HAH!
A pause for refreshments seemed in order prior to attempting the tram ride back up the hill towards our Sultanahmet home. 4 TL (Turkish Lire) for each travel token (about CDN$1.75) seemed an easy enough task to achieve having observed our fellow traveler’s purchases. OR… so we thought! 3 machines later we finally heard the desired clunk of a token in the box after having heard numerous clinks of coins returned. We’re not sure what the secret is...other than persistence.
Back in our neighbourhood we got hustled by one of the restaurateurs that had previously approached us while we were passing by. We relented and had ourselves a wee drinky-poo or two, one (large) beer for Rose and a couple of Rums & Cokes for (thirsty) Don. 10 TL for Rose (CDN$4.50), 80 TL for Don’s R&C’s (CDN$35.00)…..Yikes!
Later when searching for a dinner spot he again approached us and we said “too expensive!”. We did a little song and dance in the street where he actually showed me the menu prices for R&C which were reflected in the bill. Still don’t know why the large gap in drink prices, but long story short he comped us our dinner drinks an appy and dessert! The small live band playing Turkish traditional music in the background made for a very pleasant time after all.