Sunday, November 29, 2015

Buying organic olive oil soap and art on a shopping trip to Istanbul last week

So just last week I was strolling through an artsy neighbourhood in Istanbul with trendy new boutiques and some cutting-edge art galleries, living a #Travelife.

I had nothing in particular to buy unless something caught my eye, but it was one of the precious few afternoons this 2015 that I've been able to walk around by myself without any particular purpose except to stop wherever something interested me.

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I had 2.5 pieces of luggage with the total equivalent of 95 kilos in terms of luggage allowance for this trip, and I'd brought very little with me.

Basically it was gym wear, boots and a thick parka for day, and a couple of Issey Miyake dresses for dinners and nights out, for this visit to Istanbul.

It was a very casual and relaxing holiday, especially relative to the next one I'm taking pretty soon, which will be to somewhere freezing cold. So half of my luggage for my next trip is already packed with fur coats and fur hats for carriage rides, evenings at the opera and simply for lounging around at our palace hotels.

The  unequalled view from my favourite suite in Istanbul,
living a #Travelife...


In fact, for this one-week holiday in Turkey, living a #Travelife, the heaviest thing in my luggage --at least on the way over -- was my djellaba, a Moroccan black long dress which I'd bought on my last trip to Marrakech.

I'd brought this with me as something convenient to wear and as protection from the cold. Interestingly, I fit right into the Istanbul scene with this long black Moroccan over-dress, especially as there were ladies from the Middle East everywhere in similar garb.


Read more about 
the cool side of Istanbul
in an upcoming issue of 
#Travelife Magazine



But everything I'd packed fit into one luggage on the way to Istanbul.

So with 1.5 pieces of luggage still completely empty and -- at least on that particular day -- no guy waiting impatiently by the store entrance for me to get back to sightseeing, I was very much spoiling for a shopping spree.

Speaking of views, some things don't get better than this either.
On the amazing terrace of Suite 1453 of the Swissotel Bosphorus in Istanbul,
living and loving a #Travelife.


It was a beautiful day and I was in this wonderful neighbourhood full of unusual things, and I had  a few hours, empty luggage back in the hotel and a credit card in my pocket.

The perfect combination.

But I didn't want to buy any more clothes and there was nothing I really wanted for my home, so the first thing I ended up buying was tons of organic olive oil soap.

Shopping in Istanbul last week,
living a #Travelife...

I'd walked into this store, you see, and began a conversation with the owner, only to find out that she sold the finest olive oil soap in Istanbul. Or at least that's what she said, with great confidence. No chemicals or add-ons to lower the ratio of organic olive oil in the soap. 

Nevertheless, I thought she was kidding about this "best in Istanbul" thing


But I bought about 10 bars anyway, and my luggage weighed a ton (figuratively) but smelled wonderful the rest of the stay because of this soap.  And now I've put these in all my cabinets at home just for the smell.

My skin feels amazing, too, by the way, after using this soap since day 1.

Shopping in Istanbul,
living a #Travelife...

Then I went into another shop, just for fun. 

A couple of art pieces caught my eye and again I began a conversation with the shop owner who was a young man who'd done journalism in college who told me he didn't continue this career path because he had to earn a better living.

He sold me two beautiful pieces at very nice prices and wrapped everything so well that I simply checked these in at Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul along with my luggage home on a long haul flight, fingers crossed as I had to sign a waiver for it, but they made it without a scratch.

Shopping in Istanbul,
living a #Travelife...


I'm so happy I bought these artworks. 

Within hours of my arrival from Istanbul, I'd called a carpenter to come over to my house -- yes, I'm one of these people who doesn't know the meaning of the word "wait" -- and we'd found the perfect spot in my living room for them.

And now, whenever I walk past these paintings, which is several times a day, I find myself smiling and remembering a truly wonderful week in Istanbul, living a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful #Travelife.

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