Istanbul, Turkey * February 2016
If the ever-captivating, addictive and wallet-straining land of ABC Carpet and Home were a city, it would be called Istanbul. It would cost a fraction of the price. And it would come with endless amounts of tea served by freindly rug dealers who would spend countless after-hours unfolding every rug in their shop to show you their loot. And then generously offer you a ride back to your hotel to boot.
I flew to Istanbul to find quality rugs, ceramics and spices that are hard to find in these parts of the Balkans (cumin is practically a blackmarket commodity). And because why not. The number of rugs I carried back with me is irrelevant (cough cough), but what's important is that a city like this exists. And it is filled with rose and pistachio Turkish delights, endless amounts of spices and windy, cobblestone streets with cafes so cute I'd swear they were designed by a set director. By far and away my favorite discovery was a tiny candleshop in Galata called NYKS, whose namesake comes from Greek Mythology's Goddess of the Night. These olive oil candles are naturally scented using region-specific frangrances. The containers themselves are hand-crafted from Diyarbakir copper. And I brought back a few handfulls of them to Kosovo.
Rarely does a city capture my heart so fiercely and quickly that I'm too awestruck to even take out my camera. This is one of those places, so here are some some Istanbul shots, mostly taken at 5am before my flight back to Kosovo and in my dreamy hotel room.