Day 3: April 12th 2011
This is the place we went to after we finished with a massive tour of Turkey via Miniaturk. After Miniaturk, we got some chocolates for the road and debated about taking a bus/cab to our next destination.
Every Country has one of those lanes filled with shops with gorgeous clothes and accessories which males think is their worst nightmare…(=:P Imagine, a credit card war…one chick trying to outdo the other…with the poor dude running behind wid a dozen bags!!)
Located in the historic Beyoğlu district, it is an elegant pedestrian street, approximately three kilometers long, which houses exquisite boutiques, music stores, bookstores, art galleries, cinemas, theaters, libraries, cafés, pubs, night clubs with live music, historical patisseries, chocolateries and restaurants.(=Believe me the chocolates are GOOD)
Soo this is the slightly more posh area (=Equated to umm say Walkeshwar with a shopping boulevard or Pali Hill etc etc).
When we took a cab from the Miniaturk we could sense that as we drove from Istanbul suburbs to the business boulevard and to Taksim Square.
There is only ONE way you can see IstiKLAL Caddesi, and that’s by tram…you can walk but that’s peasant like…live life King Size…Take the Tram
But like i said…”Hungry people don’t make good travellers and neither do they write ;)”
So we went to BURGER KING!!!! Umm vegetarians will not find some good grub in Chain stores like Mac/Pizza Hut/Burger King/BBQ Chicken…Its like they roam with signs saying “MEAT EATERS ONLY”
But..bUt and BUT…roadside stalls will gladly make u a doner with vegetables and fries so don’t lose that smile 😀
Alright the best part for us was that the Istanbul Shopping Festival was on which meant that a lot of shops were selling great stuff at super good discounts. Discount =Indirim in Turkish and in some places it was Big= Buyuk Indirim or Small = Kuchuk Indirim (=Damn cute na!! My cousin couldn’t stop laughing when we said that)
The first thing you need for shopping, Cash….which we changed in the change office. It was quite an interesting Change Office because the had old Turkish notes framed in the wall and had mentioned the exchange rate of the Turkish Lira vis-a-vis the USD and there were times when the Turkish economy was in a bad state and the exchange rate was 500TL for $1.
There was Accessorise, the uber cool store with accessories too expensive for people to buy..This one though had bags and chappals made in China and Stoles “Made in Mumbai, India” That was such a proud moment, seeing those 4 words 😀
We stopped at a Store and picked up a pair of jeans for my sis. That shop had the most awesome discounts with a lot of clothes going for under Rs 300 😀 😀 While we walked we saw the Greek Embassy. We realised that this street had buildings which were very well done with a lot of delicate carvings. We were also to realise that this street had many more embassies and also one of Turkey’s most famous educational Institutions.
You won’t believe how crowded this street is. There are so many people who use the boulevard, all of them who are really pretty. Oh one of the things i forgot to mention that at the entrance of Istiklal Caddesi there was a giant shoe, made of many many shoes..it was a party slipper actually 🙂
There are several by lanes which lead us to many different spots i guess but we didn’t explore them. Also there were a lot of carts selling Kestane!!
But the best of the lot was the chocolate store that we went to which had been there since 1924..(=Talk About Old). It sold the yummiest chocolate with pistachios and hazelnuts. Plus there was white chocolate too!!! MMM..we did buy some btw!!
Next Up was..
Galatasaray Square is located at approximately the center of the avenue and is home to one of the finest educational institutions established in Turkey at the time of the Ottoman Empire;originally known as Galata Sarayı Enderun-u Hümayunu now known as the and today known as Galatasaray Lisesi.
We suddenly came to this square where the boulevard widened..we looked and in front of us weremajestic iron gates and a huge, really huge palatial structure which is the Galatasaray Lisesi 🙂
There we saw a shop selling Simit (=bread with sesame). it not only has simits but a whole range of breads and pattisiere (=Yumm) and in all sorts of sizes with the most awesome glaze and chocolate drops!! And the icing was drop dead delicious looking..i said LOOKing,,we didn’t end up eating any though. There were also a range of sandwiches with varied fillings. A yumm stop.
A little ahead of it the boulevard continued again with an array of shops and Embassies of different countries, each with a more magnificent castle as their own. Also there was a church, some food, some wacky stuff, a ride back, and the night view…
But that’s of course another story