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Lewis N. Clark Luggage Rfid Waist Stash, Taupe, One Size For security and peace of mind while visiting tourist destinations, a security wallet to carry important documents such as passports, credit cards, hotel room keys and other valuables is an important addition to the day's wardrobe. Comfortably hidden and out of site a RFID wallet prevents your credit card and other personal information from being scanned by thieves.

Istanbul's Grand Bazaar is Just That - Grand

When Sandy and I visited Istanbul, Turkey as one of the ports of call on our Mediterranean cruise, one item on the agenda was the famous Grand Bazaar. In the most basic way of describing the bazaar, think of a large shopping mall and then forget everything you know about a shopping mall. There really is no comparison.

We had about an hour and a half to spend inside after which we were to rejoin our tour party outside one of the gates. Interestingly, with a shopping mall, the term would have been “door” not “gate.” That should tell you something.


Nuruosmaniye Gate. This is considered the most important of the eighteen gates or entrances into the bazaar

Being given a gate to meet at may seem like a simple thing if you think about a building and that building having doors and one of those doors being your assigned meeting place. This place is not like a building at all. It is very much like a city which just happens to have a covering over the top. The "aisles" are more like streets with intersections and side streets and inside, you lose all sense of direction. Go a block or two and make a turn or two and you are completely out of touch with how you got there or where to go to get back to where you came from. Once we had been inside for mot more than a few minutes we experienced a bit of panic as we were not sure how to find the entrance (our meeting point gate) again. We interrupted our looking around the place and went in search of that. It is not like being inside a large department store where you can simply go to one of the walls and circle that. The bazaar is very large and it is hard to know if you are by an outside wall or not. More often than not you are not. Inside the main outer "wall" a street which is open air looks to encircle the whole complex. Whether it goes all the way around or not, who knows . Inside that "circle" (it's not round, of course, but still encircles the complex) is the main building and its doors do not always line up to match the outside gates..


Just inside the outer wall, an open street rings the inner enclosure or main part of the bazaar complex

Becoming lost inside is a very real likelihood. One would not become lost for the long term but it would be easy to if short on time to and not be able to find your way out in time to meet your tour party. There are some signs overhead at intersections but if you are not in the right area, the signs may not give you the info you need. For example, it was Gate 1 which we were to use to exit and meet our tour party. When we were in that area of the bazaar we found a sign with an arrow pointing to Gate 1. Only a few blocks away in another area, we saw other signs but those might indicate to Gate 13, Gate 14, etc. Nothing indicating Gate 1 from where we now were.

Perhaps the sense of location confusion is part of the appeal and intrigue of the place, it has a very old feel about it (well it is very old) and so conjures up images of old spy movies where the political intrigue involving the meeting of spies in the mysterious back streets of Istanbul takes place. It has that intrigue and sense of historical romance. Within that atmosphere shops selling wares from the far corners of the Orient and of course with shops selling modern leather goods, clothing and fashion items and just about anything to appeal to the tourist trade are to be found. So the idea of having a day or so to actually browse and look around would be appealing. As long as you can remember where you came in.

There are no price tags on anything. Unlike here in North America (at least in the U. S. and Canada) and and in EU countries where items for sale are marked with prices, here in Turkey, it is very much a bargaining system. Ask them how much this or that is and they will name a price. You should then turn and walk away. That will start the bargaining process. The initial named price is never what you will (or should) end up paying.

At this particular little shop, Sandy found and purchased a doll which is dressed in traditional Turkish dress. She has a large collection of what are called "storybook dolls" and some of them are from different countries. We have not had occasion to buy them ourselves from all of the countries we've visited but she looked for one here. She found a nice one that we liked very well. I don't remember what she paid for it but it seemed reasonable. When we did look at other items around the place (she was in the process of looking for trip souvenirs for different family members) it seems that the prices were not ridiculous or seriously out of line. I think this was the only thing we bought at the bazaar.

Hungry? All throughout the bazaar, small eating establishments are to be found. We did not have time on our visit to sample any of the fare but for anyone who is able to spend more time there, there are plenty of choices.

The layout lines up with the ancient market practice of concentrating specific types of products within their own specific areas of the bazaar or market. Leather goods, glass, jewelry, silks, etc. all in their own individual areas and thus it is actually easier to select what you might be looking for.

I cannot say whether we will ever have an opportunity to return to Istanbul but if we do, allowing more time, a whole day, preferably, to spend in this amazing old centre of trade and commerce would be on our agenda.

 

Lewis N. Clark Luggage Rfid Waist Stash, Taupe, One Size We found we could wear these all day long including a lot of time on and off of tour buses and much walking around and actually forget that they’re even there. That’s how well the hide away and the fabric is perfectly comfortable. I carried nothing more in my pants pocket but a small comb and a handkerchief. If a pickpocket goes for those, it’s little loss to me. Not being completely comfortable to wear an expensive watch, I kept mine inside the pouch as well. The inclusion of the watch was not enough to add noticeable bulk or to change the comfort level. Sandy kept a tube of lipstick and a small bottle of hand sanitizer inside hers.

Keep your eyes open and glance around and take note of potential trouble situations. Be very cautious when being approached by strangers asking for directions or being exhibiting suspicious behavior. Don’t accept offers by strangers to take your picture with your camera. If wearing a backpack, make sure the pockets are all zipped closed and that if it has a strap across the front which attaches the two shoulder straps, make sure that cross strap is attached. This will help reduce the chance the pack can be pulled from your back. We have learned to carry our water bottles inside the backpack rather than in the side outside pockets. Don’t carry a purse, or anything for that matter, loosely slung over your shoulder and that includes your camera. In fact, for ladies, try to avoid carrying a purse at all. The security pouches such as the Lewis N. Clark RFID Waist stash featured above should be the only purse you carry while out in potentially security risk places. Keep it hidden under a jacket, blouse, or tucked down under the waistband of your pants.

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Home | Collectible Dolls | Collectibles, Figurines & Collector Plates | Throws and Totes | Christian Ministry | Home Business | Contact Us | The Travel and Leisure Side There are places to go and things to see
| Photo Gallery We travel and we photograph our travels

Dan W. Dooley