Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Turkey Travelogue: May 24th

This was the day we saw the most of Istanbul. My friend Zeynep is from Istanbul and her parents live there. So we met up with her father near our apartment and began our journey.

We began by walking a few blocks to the Grand Bazaar. The main corridor seemed more like a mall complete with tv screen advertisements and flashing neon signs. Better prices are found off of this main corridor.

Entrance to Grand Bazaar

The Main "Street" in the Bazaar

A shiny, silver dealers shop

We then stopped at an old mosque nearby, Beyazit. Before the threshold, we all removed our shoes and put them in grocery bags. I was given a scarf to cover my head, the first of which was apparently too small to do an adequate job so the doorman gave me a larger one. Carrying our shoes, we followed our new friend to the front where he prayed while we all knelt. This was my first visit inside a Middle Eastern mosque.

Ceiling of the Beyazit Mosque

Inside the mosque

Afterwards, we walked passed Istanbul University and over to Suleymaniye Mosque, which I had read about in an article celebrating the life of the well known Ottoman traveler and writer Evliya Chelebi.  Chelebi described the Suleymaniye Mosque as being the most beautiful mosque in Istanbul even over the Hagia Sophia.  It is certainly spectacular! 

Suleymaniye Mosque

We then took a taxi across the Golden Horn to Taksim Square.  From there, we took the funicular down to a ferry that took us across the Bosphorus to the Asian side of the city. We then took another taxi to our friend's parents home where we ate a grand lunch/dinner and spent a few hours enjoying their company. They returned us to our apartment that evening.  

Leaving Suleymaniye in search of a taxi

Taksim Square

Taxi ride

The view during dinner

Our new friends - Typhun & Hikmet

The home of our hosts 

MORE PHOTOS from the 24th

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