Misir Camii or Egyptian spice bazaarThe Egyptian Spice bazaar is one of those exotic and aromatic places on the waterfront where you go for spices, dried fruits and other local trinkets. Completely enjoyable, just wandering the alleys, if you dont mind the constant selling.
Of course, the other completely touristy market is the Grand Bazaar, through which we walked, a couple of evenings. There are no fixed prices, and you can drive a bargain, if you know how to. Unfortunately, I do not have these skills and make timid efforts at price reduction which are firmly resisted by the shopkeepers!
As we walked through the alleys, we saw remnants of old decorations on the arches. The aspect that struck me, going from Indian bazaars and markets, is how clean the alleys were, as also the fact that there was discipline among the shopkeepers not to occupy the common areas, and leave space for visitors.
Nazar boncuk everywhere!
Any visitor to Istanbul will surely carry memories of the "nazar boncuk", those pleasing blue and white "eyes" we saw on key chains, trinkets, tiles, bracelets, buses, buildings and hotels. The markets and souvenir shops are full of them.
I guess they are to ward off the evil eye.