Today was my last day, and I had still not had enough of Istanbul... I just wanted to stay more and explore it's random streets, or sit in one of it's street side cafés and have some turkish coffee. I wanted to meet more people and listen to their travel experiences. I was going to miss all of it. But one of the things I was surely going to miss the most was the turkish breakfast! The simple lovely breakfast the all of my hostels made- with boiled egg, olives, fruits, jams,butter, spreads,cookies, a dollop of the traditional Turkish cheese, and a bucket full of freshly baked turkish bread! Anyone would miss it, wouldn't they. And this was my last breakfast in turkey. I was at breakfast with my roommate Tony, and I told him that today I had my flight in the evening from Ataturk airport. Tony was surprised to hear this and told me that the Ataturk airport was closed and all the scheduled flights had been redirected to the new Istanbul airport, which had opened just 3 days ago. I just couldn't belive that my airline had not notified me about the same. Tony was also going to catch his flight shortly, and showed me from where I could catch a shuttle bus to the airport. Thanks to him, I got saved from a major blunder on the last day of my trip! X)
Anyway, I still had some shopping to do at grand bazaar, and I had time till late afternoon. Before that I visited the Istanbul Archeology museum in the morning. The museum really has a rich collection of artifacts from the hittie, Babylonian and Egyptian era among others. It was a confluence of so many cultures and I felt like I had moved centuries in a matter of minutes. For a history geek like me , it was a treat- I would say a parting gift from Istanbul X) Next stop was grand bazaar as I said earlier, where I wanted to buy the mosaic turkish lamp. You can exchange your money at good rates in one of the change offices that are righr outside the bazaar. The bazaar has innumerable shops selling everything from turkish lamps to jewellery, clothes, artifacts, pottery, dry fruits, leather bags and what not! And the one thing you have to do while shopping for anything is- BARGAIN! The shop owners at the Grand bazaar give you the first quote really high, but you have to not budge and bargain for a lower price. And that is when the Indian inside me woke up. After some bargaining I bought a medium sized turkish lamp for my house for 70TL. I wish I could buy more but I didn't want it to break during my flight. Another thing that I bought was a pair of zultanite earrings in silver for my sister. Zultanite jewellery was being sold everywhere in Turkey, and the stone famously changes it's colour according to the colour light you cast upon it. Although I'm not a shopaholic, the grand bazaar was still interesting to roam around and see the sparkling lights of turkish lamps, and the decorative turkish plates. I spent some time clicking pictures, and headed back to my hostel- with a stop in between for lunch at café. At 4 in the afternoon I bid adieu to my hostel hosts- who had been ever so kind and helpful over my four days stay at their place. I caught my shuttle bus from Sultanahmet square to the (new!!) Istanbul airport, and passed by many of the lovely places in Istanbul from the Blue mosque to the Galata tower, and Hagia sofia to the spice bazaar. It was like I got a chance to say bye to each one of them separately! The brand new airport is a grand affair, and has a gigantic single terminal structure. Soon I boarded my flight back to India, with a treasure chest of memories gathered in this beautiful country, which was not checked in anywhere on the flight!