Istanbul’s bazaars are a riot of colors, flavors and fragrances. They will completely engulf all your senses. Narrow covered passageways are lined with small store fronts that sell a rainbow of spices, a kaleidoscope of colorful Arabic lamps, scarves in every conceivable color, tiles and pottery with the traditional blue and red tulip designs, a multitude of patterned pillows, fabrics and carpets, and much, much more. The walls reverberate with the noise of local and tourist shoppers haggling to get the best prices. Shopkeepers are relentless in their calls to get passerby’s attentions. It’s busy. It’s noisy. It’s chaotic. And it’s one of the quintessential Istanbul experiences, even if your senses can only take it for a short time.
When I travel, I am always on the lookout for new and unique experiences or classes, especially if they involve a creative element. So, when my friend and traveling companion discovered a class where we could learn Turkish Paper Marbling in Istanbul, I knew I needed to fit that into my Istanbul itinerary.
Photo location: side street in Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul’s treasure, the wonderful Hagia Sofia, is perfectly reflected in a morning cup of Turkish tea at the Seven Hills Hotel rooftop restaurant. A day cannot start out any better than this.
Thanks for visiting
Photo location: Istanbul Spice Bazaar. Built in 1664 as a part of the New Mosque complex, this market is colorful, smells great and is a fun place to explore. And yes, it still sells spices. Thanks for visiting. Rose
Quilt Inspiration – I love all the beautiful traditional Turkish Iznik tiles that can be seen in the historic sites in Istanbul like the Blue Mosque and Topkai Palace. I wanted to make a quilt inspired by all those colorful tiles that I admire so much.
Paris has the Palace of Versailles. Vienna has the Hofburg Palace. London has Buckingham Palace. In Istanbul, it is Topkapi Palace that was the opulent home to the Sultan rulers of the Ottoman Empire and their female entourage for almost 400 years.
To step through the door into Hagia Irene in Istanbul is to step through a time portal back to fourth century Constantinople. Before the more famous Hagia Sofia was built, Hagia Irene served as the main church for the capital of the Byzantine Empire. Hagia Irene also served as a model for the construction of the Hagia Sofia next door.
My first visit to Istanbul was in the spring of 2016 with my husband. We were excited to experience all the great history and culture and came back with many great memories. But one of our most memorable moments was a quiet hour that we spent sipping Turkish tea at sunset, looking out over the Bosphorus.
Photo location: An abundance of tulips and other spring flowers in Gülhane Park, Istanbul.