Haggling at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

Istanbul is a magical city. In its streets the aromas of spices are mixed in the same way that Western and Muslim culture do.

When I started the trip, I thought that I - a lover of nature, trekking and open spaces - would be a bit long to spend a whole week in one city. How wrong I was!

I spent almost a whole day immersed in his Grand Bazaar. The Grand thing is clearly for something! There you can find everything: thousands of different kinds of spices, “brand” clothes - crocodile… lizard… nike… mike… after all, what does it matter? -, toys, jewelry, lamps and other home decoration, and so many other things.

The important thing is not what you buy but that you impregnate yourself with the atmosphere that you breathe there, have a tea or smoke a shisha in a hidden corner in the eyes of almost everyone, that you walk through its labyrinthine streets that, without knowing how, end up always leading you to the same small shop where you saw something that you liked but that went out of your budget. It is as if Bazaar himself pierced the visitor's soul with penetrating eyes and directed his inert steps towards the place where his desired merchandise was found.

The Turks are bargaining masters and - as in the Monthy Pyton movie Brian's Life - they will almost be offended if you don't haggle the initial price they offer you. In the end, pay what you pay, they will end up doing business.

Undoubtedly a good place to lose yourself for at least half a day - if you are a woman, the average is almost full day - and where to take a break from the ancient majesty of the once capital of the Roman Empire of the East, the Byzantine and the Ottoman.

Images, Svenwerk