Goodbye Istanbul

When a traveller goes back home after his adventure, what must he do………? Of course, he must go out and find a few tokens of love for his dear long suffering wife, and his cheerleader daughter. But for this traveller it means engaging in an activity as foreign to him as football: shopping. Both sports seem to entail a lot of pointless running around, and frequently to no effect.
When I eventually found one of the 25 entrances to the biggest Bazaar in Turkey, the Grand Bazaar,


and walked into a vast indoor network of ‘snickets’ and ‘ginnels’ of nearly 5000 touting stallholders, I knew I would rapidly sink into a state of complete paralysis. I mean, I have a problem deciding what to buy when the choice is any one of two, so when that field of choice expanded to several thousand, and every stallholder was giving me a “Hello, how are you?” as their prologue in the battle to be the first to get my money, I knew I was in trouble.


Solution? Go and have a bite of lunch to think about it.
Result? Well that would be telling, wouldn’t it? But it did clear the mind, and this intrepid shopper marched straight back into the warren, did his business, and then, of course, couldn’t find his way out.

Once you are in the thick of a huge bazaar like this, there is no way of following a breadcrumb trail to get back out. Like being in a thick forest with no compass, you simply keep on walking until you spy daylight.


Once out into the open, I had no idea where I was, and the city map was of no use. Solution? I switched on the GPS on my phone and followed navigational instructions, which got me out of the warren of streets and back to the hostel.
And no, I didn’t buy this “tayt pantalon”……much too like the tight drainpipes of the 1960s.


If you have followed some, or all, of this journey to Istanbul, thank you for your company. Apart from those who click ‘like’ or leave a comment, I don’t know who you are, but I really do appreciate your interest. Having readers inspires the writing and sharing, and that is what non-commercial blogging is all about.


About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on June 16, 2014, in Kimbolton to Istanbul 4000kms: a crusader's route and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. I have loved every mile of this journey, dear Frank, despite it’s being, unlike last years DownUnder adventure, nowhere like anywhere I have ever been, or even hope to go, your writing is so vivid and your photos so gorgeous and evocative……thank you, thank you. Safe journey home to us, were your ears burning I wonder, on Friday last as we were at Little Gidding and missing you?

    Much love, Caroline

  2. Thanks Frank, only joined your blog about 10 days ago, but really enjoyed it. I did one last year when my son and I did the JOGLE. Would like to know about getting a bike on a plane and good luck getting home.
    Best wishes,

    • Thanks Andrew! I simply get a free empty box from a cycle dealer and dismantle it sufficiently for the bike to fit. Airlines will take your bike as sports equipment, sometimes free (BA, Virgin……). Budget airlines charge….

  3. Graham Peace

    Well done Frank.
    Love & admiration
    Graham & Kathy

  4. Dear Frank, we meet us in Regensburg and i want to give you my highest respect on this virtuell way for what you have done!!!
    It was for me a pleasure to see that everything is possible, when a person want it. It helped me on my way to Bhuthan.
    …and who knows, we say in germany:
    ” Good people you see in live always twice”
    best regards from rumania

  5. Had a similar problem trying to get out of the Westfield shopping centre in Stratford, London, after parking car in their multi-story car park in order to visit the nearby London Velodrome. The car park exits into the shops at each level. I had to ask a local for help. The GPS didn’t help as it was a new development, not yet on my SatNav. I certainly sympathise re shopping; that’s why blokes use the internet!

    • Ha Peter, you’re right……I only go supermarket shopping with Jenny when we sit on the sofa, cup of tea/glass of wine in hand, and spend half an hour doing it on the internet….;0)

  6. I’ve been to the Grand Bazaar several times and am convinced that they really only have ten stores, but each one has about 500 locations inside the bazaar!

    • Ha! Good one……..I said exactly the same to Jenny…..thousands of outlets, but only about 10 product ranges…..and 20% of those sold head scarves.

  7. Patricia Caress

    Dear Frank we have watched your progress every day and have really enjoyed it hope to see you soon Tricia and Walter

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