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Published: June 16th 2012
buying spices in the Spice Bazaar
this was only a short walk from our hotel
after a nice breakfast in the hotel Neorion (so many choices of sweets, fruit, coffee, tea, meats, etc), Toni's goal was to buy some spice at the Spice Bazaar not more than a few hundred yards from our hotel; it was a lot of fun testing and smelling all the spices and talking with the salesman and finally deciding on a some Cumin and a Fish Seasoning plus some gift packages for friends. we then went wandering around the bazaar (very similar to the one we were in yesterday near the Hagia Sophia - heck could have been the same one!) and looking at the many tiny nooks and crannies and storefronts for mostly spices but so many other products, it's hard to explain it unless you see it in person and all along the way, vendors are talking to you trying to get you say something back so they can engage! we found a few other things then said good bye and went off to fine the kiosk to board the City Windows 24 hour on-off bus tour and couldn't find it despite asking 5 different people so we grabbed a taxi to the W (the Hunter's hotel) near Macka
Park and the Dolmabache Palace and planned our day to see Istanbul (Europe and Asian sides) with the bus. we knew we could hop on and off at various locations. the weather today is perfect. a nice breeze to keep the heat down but blue skies so that we can wear light comfortable clothing. the tour takes one practically everywhere; even across the Bosphorus Bridge to the Asian side and back. we had to change buses at the Hagia Sophia square which was too bad as we had front row seats. Ken bought some baked corn and I bought some Naan and we carried on. The new bus took us around the old city some more then back across the Galata Bridge and along Mecilis-Mebusan past the Dolmabache Palace and back to the W stop.
Ken, Toni and I walked up from the W to wait for the City Windows bus and have a beer as it only runs every 40 minutes or so; Toni plans on going back to Neorion but Ken and I are going to Taksim Square to “get lost” as Ken describes it . . . just wander around and see what happens.
Taksim Square is a smaller version of the Place Concorde in Paris, chaos in order; a real crossroads of traffic. Ken and I eventually find a nice cafe and order some mezes and beer and talk about stuff. After I while I think I need to find a bus so I can get back to the hotel to clean up and have time to take a taxi with Toni to the Four Seasons Bosphuros for dinner.
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