People constantly heckled you to buy whatever they were selling, and things were more expensive than in Prague, the capital of designer shopping. And hardly anything was in English; I know that’s not mandatory but it just makes travel difficult. Nothing was in Greek either, and considering most tourists we saw were Greek, and Turkey is… well we all know that old chestnut with Constantinople and the Ottoman conquest… but come on, stuff needs to be understandable, Turkish is far from a widely-spoken language. I was shocked to learn that Turkey has been voted the number one country for tourism: the airport wasn’t even easily accessible.
Regardless of the experience’s quality, we saw the main attractions in the city and that is what’s important. First we visited the Grand Bazaar, a popular shopping attraction very similar to what I’ve seen in the Middle East or Greece. Mostly knock-off designer bags, jeans, Nike shoes, even toys, so we didn’t really buy anything; but there were some beautiful pieces of pottery that we really liked, and mom bought a few little plates and bowls. They do a style of painting with three-dimensional designs of paisley and flowers, almost like henna, and it’s always very vibrant and beautiful. There were little Dervish men (Sufi Muslims from Persia) made out of pottery, in their traditional dancing clothes and form. Another Turkish specialty is these beautiful glass electric lanterns, but they were too difficult to transport in our suitcases and the electricity type didn’t match Bahrain or America’s unfortunately.
So comes the end of my tour of Europe! The rest of my vacation was spent in Bahrain, socializing with old friends and enjoying a true melting pot of cultures (which mostly consists of delicious foods!) Stay tuned for some great book recommendations, I’ve been reading a lot while I’m overseas, and whatever else comes my way on this adventure! I hope everyone had wonderful holidays, and I’d love to hear about your trips or at-home adventures this season, so please feel free to comment!