on September 21, 2010
When I went to Kathy's website and signed up for the shopping trip, I expected to be led through the Grand Bazaar and taken to the vendors who would give me the best deals on various items.What I didn't expect was to be taken both behind the scenes and through the Bazaar in such a way that introduced me to the history, the craftsmen and the vendors. We wove in and out among those three areas which made for a fascinating and enlightening shopping trip.We started by walking along the outside of the Bazaar to the Gold workshops (called "Hans"). Kathy introduced me to the craftsmen who were creating the jewelry we later saw in the Bazaar. We even got to see how the gold was melted and poured!We then entered the Bazaar through a door where there was a lot of shouting and raised voices. It turned out that it was sort of like a stock market where money was being bought and sold.After the money sellers, we visited a lovely scarf shop. I got a lovely cashmere scarf for a little more than $100 and a lot of pashmina and silk scarves for a steal. From there we went to the place where they make the silver products. I was able to find a vendor to help me complete my silverware set and I found an incredibly beautiful candle holder set. We went to the top of the han to meet with the actual artists who produced the silver products. They showed us the room where silver is melted down, but they said there was no work that day and so we didn’t actually see them melting it.As I said we wove in and out around the bazaar. By the end of the trip I was laden down with amazing gifts for my friends and family and some great things for the house. If you want a Grand Bazaar experience, I highly recommend Istanbul Personal Shopper.
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