Halleh recently traveled to Istanbul to absorb the rich cultural heritage and to be inspired by the art, architecture, and people. Not only did she experience some amazing and picturesque sights, but she also had the chance to source emeralds for future jewelry creations.
The largest city in Turkey, Istanbul is the country's economic hub and cultural center. It's the eighth most-visited city in the world, and it's the home of some of the most recognizable landmarks, like the Hagia Sophia, the Grand Bazaar, the Blue Mosque, and many others. Continue reading to get the details of Halleh's amazing adventure.
One of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, Istanbul's Grand Bazaar spans 61 covered streets and features more than 4,000 shops. On a daily basis, nearly 400,000 people visit this shopping destination and tourist attraction. Not only is it an amazing place to experience the local culture, purchase souvenirs, and engage in people-watching, but the Bazaar is also a striking example of architecture with its domed designs and ornate details.
If you're familiar with Halleh's jewelry designs, then you know that she loves emeralds for their vibrant and lively appearance as well as for their value. When she's in Istanbul, Halleh loves meeting with her trusted gem dealers to source the very best and most beautiful emeralds for her customers. In this photo, you can see a snapshot of Halleh's emerald-hunting experience. The city's Topkapi Palace Museum actually has a renowned, jewel-studded dagger of mid-18th century origin, and it's definitely worth the trip to see it!
Spice Bazaar and Turkish Coffee
If you love experiencing a destination through its flavors, then you'll definitely love visiting Istanbul, which is known for a few signature dishes like the traditional Turkish breakfast, an egg dish called "menemen", a flatbread with minced meat and spices called "lahmucun", and many other delicious treats.
But no visit to Istanbul is complete until you visit the Spice Bazaar. The Grand Bazaar may be Istanbul's most famous bazaar, but the Spice Bazaar is hands down the most colorful - and most fragrant! The photo only shows a small sampling of the spices you'll find at this shopping destination.
And of course you can't leave Istanbul without trying Turkish coffee, which is unique in the way it's brewed. This coffee is made with finely-ground coffee beans and is not filtered. The coffee and water, typically with added sugar, is brought to the boil in a special pot called a "cezve". Usually people will drink Turkish coffee alongside a sweet treat like Turkish delight.
Have you ever visited Istanbul? Is it on your travel wish list? Halleh loved spending time in this amazing and memorable city, and she can't wait to share her new emerald treasures as well as more photos and details on social media.