Day 3 (afternoon)
Temperature: 10 degrees
Weather: sunny blue sky and warmer
With anticipation, we took the Tram to our next destination, a good twenty minute ride from the Palace. I was starting to get used to this type of transportation and by now, enjoying it greatly especially since I knew my way around and where to get off…..right after the bridge. That's all I had to remember! It was that easy!
The Spice Market was quite crowded. It was Sunday today, so lots of locals were doing their shopping at the market. We made our way inside the roof covered building, the shopping area where rare spices, herbs, vegetables, fruits and tons of souvenirs were sold as well as the famous Turkish Delights, a sugar coated kind of candy.
I greatly enjoyed browsing at all the merchant stalls where I was greeted with a big wide smile and the same familiar questions such as "Where are you from", “Welcome to Turkey”!, “Come in my shop”! Surprisingly, some of the local merchants even spoke French having learned it from the tourists they said.
We were not pressured into buying anything. It wasn’t like Egypt’s Bazaars where we were hassled, followed and even furiously yelled at if we didn’t buy anything. Here, the merchants simply wished us a nice day and this, still with a big smile of their faces. It was pleasant. We were offered on numerous occasions some Turkish Delights to taste. They were delicious but being sweets and not having a sweet tooth, I politely declined buying some. After all, we were at the start of our trip and I just didn’t want to be bothered carrying them in my suitcases all through my tour.
Lots of multi colored glass lamps of different shapes and sizes were displayed everywhere. It was hard to decide which one to choose but when spotting one with my favorite colors of pink and purple together, well, there you go, it was purchased in a jiffy.
After browsing through all the little shops of the “L” shape structure, we made our way outside and continued shopping at other surrounding little markets up until 3:30pm where shortly after, the Tram was taken heading back the opposite direction, heading back to our hotel.
Of all restaurants to choose from, we ate at the Pizza Hut being close to our hotel….and yes, I know…..we ate there before and again today but since I liked the food and being fussy as I am, I just didn’t want to try anything else even though Michel wanted to eat elsewhere! By the way, my spaghetti a la Bolognese was delicious with garlic bread! So there you go!
By 5:30pm we were back at the Conrad hotel getting ready for our much awaited evening because tonight, exactly at 6:30pm to be more precise, we were meeting the Tour Director of our tour and the rest of the group. I was anxious to finally meet everyone, to know the size of our group and to get started with the tour! In other words…..let the adventure begin!