Monday, September 8, 2014

My next 24 hrs in Istanbul

Before I continue with the story, I must make you listen to the song that tormented me the rest of my time in Istanbul, thanks to my mother. She sent me this video from Loony Tunes, about Istanbul no longer being called Constantinople. This was the song that Alejandro got sick and tired of hearing, thanks to my endless singing, humming and mumbling of it. 

Now that I have that stuck in your head, let's continue. So next morning after having breakfast (orange juice, Simit, and other breads they were selling on the street), we headed to Kabataş to catch a boat that made a few stops along the European cost of Istanbul, as well as the Asian side. This 'Hop on hop off' boat along the Bosphorus was very inexpensive, making 4 stops before heading back to Kabataş, for only 15 Turkish lira (which is like US$7.5). If I remember correctly, we traveled with this line:, for anyone who plans going there in the near future. This is a great option.

So, we went from Kabataş, through Beşiktaş (we didn't hop off here), Emirgan, Küçüksu (Asian side), Beylerbeyi (Asian side), and back to Beşiktaş (where we did hop off).  When in Küçüksu (picture above), we had lunch and a great piece of chocolate cake. It was a beautiful afternoon with a great view. We did a few more stops before heading back to the European side and to Beşiktaş. Here we got off and got distracted in the shops, but once we realized we were going to be late, we ran for it! And as we reached the dock, we watched our boat leave without us. So we walked back to Kabataş, which wasn't that bad in the end. We saw some nice buildings on the way and then had a big well deserved meal in Taksim Square.

 Starting the next day, also with a big meal, we had the traditional Turkish breakfast. The restaurant was close to Galata Tower and  called Cafe Privato. They had fresh organic food and a wonderful environment looking out to the tower. As you can see in the picture, it was huge and extremely delicious, which was just as well because we had a very long day ahead of us. After stuffing our faces with all the little dishes of cheese, eggs, honey, fruits and olives. We wobbled to the Galata tower that looked like it could offer a promising panoramic view of the city.


Getting to the door we entered an elevator and went straight up to the restaurant in the tower and from there climbed up a flight of stair to the very top and got a wonderful view, as we had expected, which produced some fantastic pictures. As was normal on this trip, we there were cloudless blue skies with lots of sunshine. After we had taken our share of pictures, we headed back down and then onward to the Grand Bazaar. There we saw many very old shops and a very bent man making golden thread in a hidden patio in the Bazaar.  We walked through and came out at the Nuruosmaniye Mosque, and since it was getting hot and muggy, we went in to sit on the rug and chill for a bit until we regained our energies.We continued to walk and ended up in front of the working post office which was a museum in itself! It has old fashion writing desks and beautiful stained glass windows. 

After or short stop here we finally headed for the grand Hagia Sophia, where we bought a 3 day pass that included a few interesting museums and the Topkapi Palace. We entered the Hagia Sophia and ....Oh surprise! There was restoration going on inside (it follows me). So the pictures are good but not as great as I had expected.When we had taken our share of pictures here, we headed back home to psychologically prepare ourselves for the amount of museums we would be seeing in the next few days. 

For a complete view of the PICTURES, check out my Flickr account. pictures SAM_0516 to SAM_0912 make reference to this post.

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