The Grand Bazaar

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A fresh fruit market by the Bosphorus River.
A fresh fruit market by the Bosphorus River.

We stayed around the apartment on Wednesday morning because Drew needed to take a geometry exam and Noah didn’t wake up until 11 AM. So, once we finished lunch and were ready to head out the door, it was about 2 PM. We had dinner plans around 6 PM with some of our new Turkish friends back in Taksim, so not much time to do extensive touring. We headed out of the apartment and straight down the big hill behind our apartment that took us all the way to the water. We walked through the lower portion of Beyoglu, the section of town that Taksim is in, and found ourselves at the foot of the big Galata Tower. The tower was built many centuries ago as the first line of defense for the city.

Gallata Tower in Istanbul
Gallata Tower in Istanbul

From the Galata Tower we headed toward the bridge to take us across the Bosphorus River to Eminonu, the section of town that houses the Old City, The Grand Bazaar, The Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, The Hagia Sophia and so many other points of interest in Istanbul. Since we only had a short period of time we decided to go to the Grand Bazaar to see what that was all about. We ended up walking through hundreds of shops on the street asking people along the way for directions to the Grand Bazaar. We met a family traveling from Germany with their 18 year old daughter and they ended up walking us to the front gate to the Grand Bazaar.

Ilise and I in front of one of the huge mosques on the Bosphorus River
Ilise and I in front of one of the huge mosques on the Bosphorus River

We got inside the immense shopping area and it was nice and all, but it didn’t do anything for me. We walked around for about an hour, which was plenty long enough for me. I did need a new wallet since mine was stolen in Athens, so we stopped at a bunch of shops and finally found something I liked outside the Bazaar and the shop keeper wanted 40 TL (Turkish Lira). We ended up settling on 30 TL, which equates to a bit under $12 US. It is a cute little wallet that holds a handful of credit cards as well as a money clip in the middle.

We left the shopping area and headed back to Taksim to meet Tijen, Ayse Maya and two other new friends, Binnur and Mete. Binnur was introduced to me by Ayelet Baron, a fellow purpose seeking friend from San Francisco. Ayelet was introduced to me by Lina Srivastava, who I met at the Opportunity Collaboration conference in Mexico back in October. Ayelet introduced me to Binnur and Binnur in turn directed us to Tijen because Tijen had a teenage daughter, Ayse Maya. Tijen was the one who made it possible to go to the Bridges School on Tuesday. As you can see, I am a bit of a networker, so Ilise and the kids are never surprised when a new name turns up and we go on these little adventures to meet people.

Dinner w/ Tijen, Binnur, Mete and families
Dinner w/ Tijen, Binnur, Mete and families

We met for dinner at a restaurant called Midpoint because it had an amazing view of the city from the outdoor portion of the restaurant. We arrived with Tijen and met Binnur and Mete a bit later. The conversation was extremely engaging and everyone really enjoyed themselves. The kids had other young people to spend time with as Ayse Maya was also joined by Daniel, Binnur’s 8 year old son. We stayed at the restaurant until about 9 PM and could have spent a few more hours talking about life, business and how we can change the world together. While we were eating it started to rain so on our walk home we got a bit wet. We also stopped for some chocolate at a local store that was pretty yummy 🙂

Sunset from Taksim Square
Sunset from Taksim Square

Tomorrow is another day of touring Istanbul as we plan to head to the Asian side by ferry. Looking forward to another enjoyable day in Istanbul.

To a life well lived!

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