A Bizarre Afternoon at Istanbul’s Spice Bazaar: a Quirky #Photo/#Video Journey #Turkey

Spice Bazaar Istanbul

Istanbul’s Spice Bazaar, aka, the Egyptian Bazaar or Mısır Çarşısı (in Turkish), was different than I imagined it would be. I knew I’d see spices and dried fruits and other goodies. But I had no clue that I’d also encounter some quirky stuff.

Turkish Viagra monsters, a circumcision mannequin…and yes, a celebrity lookalike.

Ready to join me on this photo/video adventure? Let’s start on the outside, then work our way in…

Outside the Spice Bazaar

People Coming and Going

Outside Spice Bazaar, Istanbul


Pigeons Landing and Taking Off

Local children enjoyed feeding and watching the pigeons.


Kids Playing

A Woman Resting

Shopping can be exhausting. Why not take a break? I know I needed one after a while…

Muslim Woman Resting

Inside the Spice Bazaar

Colorful and Slightly Chaotic

As it is in most bazaars, this one was crowded and, at times, chaotic. But not too bad. Just right, in fact. And so, I really enjoyed it. Sure, there were a good number of tourists, but it wasn’t like the Grand Bazaar, which was a real tourist trap. This market had mostly locals walking around. This, I liked.

Circumcision Mannequin

There’s a story to this–a long and quirky one (that happens to be in my book of travel tales). For now, let’s just say that seeing this mannequin helped me understand some little boys I’d seen earlier in the day on the tram, but that it also left me with some new questions. And it became part of a bigger adventure.

Bizarre Mannequin


 Really Yellow Corn

Really Yellow Corn


Colorful Spices and Nuts

I snacked so much that day that I almost didn’t have room for dinner. The pistachios were fantastic, by the way.

Nuts and Other Yummy Stuff


The Best Cherries I’ve Ever Eaten

These cherries–and those I had in Eastern Turkey–were the best I’ve ever eaten…just perfect!

Turkish Cherries–the best I’ve ever had!


Apple-like Plums

I thought these were apples…until I tried one. Oops…they were actually plums.

Turkish Plums


Aphrodisiac Oils and Perfumes

Some of the men working at the bazaar told me that these oils are aphrodisiacs. Think they work? :)

Perfumes, Oils and Magic Potions


Turkish Viagra Monsters

Curious about these little creatures?  Learn more here, where I did an entire post on them as part of my Trippy Travel Photo Game. Find out why they’re allegedly a natural Viagra for men.

Turkish Viagra Monsters


Turkish Can Can

When I saw these leggings and stockings, the ‘can can’ came to mind… I keep hearing the song in my head now.

Turkish Can Can Leg Wear


Quirky Photo Shoot

This man gestured to me to sit down in the mini restaurant where he was working. I was tired and so I took a break. Soon, he was asking me to take his photo.

He had no photos of himself with tourists on the wall, either. He just wanted to be in a photo. “Sure,” I said, thinking–why not. And so, we had a mini photo shoot and ended up with this. He was pleased.

Quirky Restaurant Employee Who Wanted His Photo Taken


 Black Olives

Black Olives

 Mussels ‘n’ Lemon

Mussels ‘n’ Lemon

Hajji Selling Pots and Pans

Hajji Selling Pots and Pans


More Colorful Spices

Colorful Spices

People Milling About

Here’s a video clip that will hopefully give you a sense of what it was like inside the bazaar.

One More Thing…

Meeting a Celebrity Lookalike with an Identity Crisis

While walking around the bazaar, I met this Kurdish man. He claimed he was one celeb, then said he actually thought he looked like another. My encounter with him was so quirky that it deserves its own post.

Stay tuned for Random Travel Moment 6…

Celebrity Lookalike? Which one??


Have you visited the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul? If so, what did you think? Did you buy any evil eye protector amulets? Have any quirky chats with the locals? Did you try the fish sandwiches down by the water?

If you haven’t been there, would you like to go? If you do, watch out for the man in the photo…he’ll be waiting for you, I’m sure! :)

By the way, do you have any idea who he resembles?

Like My Quirky Adventures? Then Don’t Miss the Bus or My Book!

I’ve written a book (travel tales from 4 regions of the world), which is scheduled for publication this January; one quarter of it is about Turkey. And one of the stories is about my experiences at the Spice Bazaar–especially my encounter with the mystery man in the above photo. It’s called ‘Bizarre Afternoon at the Spice Bazaar.’

Want to learn more about the book? Click here. Want access to free chapters? Then sign up for my monthly newsletter (no spam or sharing your address—I promise). If you do,  I’ll also be able to communicate with you re: release date, free book giveaways and discounts. You may also want to follow me on Facebook and to subscribe to the RSS feed. Thank you!

9 Responses to A Bizarre Afternoon at Istanbul’s Spice Bazaar: a Quirky #Photo/#Video Journey #Turkey
  1. Rohrerbot
    October 16, 2012 | 3:45 pm

    This looks like so much fun. I’m jealous. I would to go here one day:)
    Rohrerbot recently posted..I’m HUNGRY!My Profile

    • CB Driver
      October 18, 2012 | 9:48 am

      Hey…hi! Hope you’re doing well. Just visited your blog. Lovely photos! Anyway, yeah–the bazaar was fun (and bizarre). :) What did you think of the celeb lookalike? LOL I will reveal his identity soon…

    • CB Driver
      October 24, 2012 | 8:52 am

      Hi there…! I think you’d love it. In fact, I’m sure you would! :)

  2. Leektone
    October 17, 2012 | 7:42 pm

    I am very disappointed in you. In the picture of the spices I see fish spice and chicken spice. Why must these noble animals continue to die to provide us with spice?

    Also, that celebrity lookalike guy looks like the famous Ramon Cortabar.

    • CB Driver
      October 24, 2012 | 8:52 am

      Very funny, Sir Leektone! I don’t know Ramon. Will have to Google him! :)

  3. Hogga
    October 18, 2012 | 9:14 am

    So much more to see than just the spices! Especially that sweet leg display haha
    Hogga recently posted..Are Travellers Flaky People?My Profile

    • CB Driver
      October 24, 2012 | 8:51 am

      Hi, Lindsay. Yes, those are some sweet legs!

  4. Traveling Ted
    October 25, 2012 | 10:43 am

    Looks like the produce and the people are colorful at the Istanbul Spice Bazaar.
    Traveling Ted recently posted..Traveling Ted to turn 21My Profile

    • CB Driver
      October 25, 2012 | 11:14 am

      Yes, definitely! And a tiny bit quirky, too! :)

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