Since the bazaars are closing for the long holiday, we decided to check a few of them out today, First we went to the Grand Bazaar, then we went to the Spice Bazaar (also known as the Egyptian Bazaar -- above photo is from there).
The Grand Bazaar has existed since the 15th century and it has over 3,000 stores, so it's not only one of the oldest markets in the world, it's one of the largest! You can find pretty much anything you could ever want here -- unless you're looking for food items such as bulk nuts, spices, teas, and candies in which case you need the Spice Market. Both places were quite busy (the Grand Bazaar gets 250,000 to 400,000 visitors per DAY!!!) but the Spice Market was so crowded, I truly felt like a sardine in a can.
Fortunately, I quickly found what I was looking for -- the Turkish spice called pul beber. It's basically coarsely ground dried red peppers. We were introduced to this yesterday and now want to put it in all our food!