Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Istanbul Day II (My last day here but definitely NOT my last day here ;-)

Yes, I could handle waking up with this view EVERY morning.  
You actually get to SEE the city wake up, not just learn of its awakening by the increasing traffic noise and angry honking as is the case in many other cities (We won't mention any names ;-)

6:30 am
Time to see the Bun Man again ;-) This time I get to use almost ALL of my Turkish words: Gu"naydin (Good Morning), Lu"tfen (Please!), and Tesekku"r (Thank you).  This little effort gets me a huge smile, an onrush of Turkish, and a parting handshake accompanied by more Turkish.  AND the buns are the Turkish equivalent of a croissant. What a way to start a morning, LOL
Yes, so there are cell-phone transmitters and a chimney not more then 10 meters from my veranda.

The view reflected from my Veranda door ;-)   US$ 29 per night, LOL (Don't you fell silly just having paid half a million for a Vancouver shoe box?

9 am

Time to leave. I have to attend mosque !   

But first I'm going back to the grocery store. NO, I don't need the groceries yet.  BUT, from last time I remember that Hagia Sofia and Sultan Ahmed Mosque are situated on a hill.  A STEEP hill, LOL. 

So I'm going to the grocery store to get change for the Istanbul Metro.  A side effect of this is that I will be carrying a bottle of WINE into a MOSQUE, which is probably NOT the proper thing to do, but that can't be helped right now.
From the grocery store it is a STEEP way down to the Metro station.  But it's gorgeous !

I fight with the metro-ticket vending machine for a minute (Hey, I don't speak Turkish and I can't find the language button ;-)

3 stations later I get off at the Sultan Ahmed/ Hagia Sophia Station.  A quick moment of getting oriented and :Hey, there is a mosque over there !

The obelisk of III. Tutmosis (There are stolen ones in London, Paris, New York, so why not in Istanbul?)

And then it's time to enter the outer realms of the Blue Mosque.   

Noticed the chain?  Put there to remind the Sultan arriving on horseback to WALK because he was leaving the area of his power for an area where a different power reigned supreme.

The have loaner long dresses and loaner head scarfs  (Think horrible hospital blue) but I'm a little proud that I arrived properly dressed.  I sound like my own grandfather you say?  Thank you, I'm honored by the comparison ;-)

Right after this it is time to take my shoes off.  They are VERY strict about it and they should be.

 This is the first time in my life that I have set foot in an active mosque.  And I chose well for my first time!   FABULOUS CARPETING.

But NO, I'm entering a place of LIGHT.   The place is fiendishly difficult to photograph, because LIGHT comes from EVERYWHERE and floods the place.

It looks like a solid pile of domes from the outside.
But once you're inside, there is LIGHT coming from everywhere.

From the picture above, turn 180 degrees, et voila:

Hagia Sophia (for interior pictures See The June 2016 Post

Enough for now.  I decide to WALK back instead of taking the tram:

They don't make roofs like this anymore ;-(

No, the soap doesn't actually look like this, it's the packaging tin can that is so colourful ;-)

It's 11 am by now and all I've eaten is ONE bun out of the five obtained from Bun Man this morning.   Conveniently (LOL), the restaurant under Galata Bridge is located right along the way.  Today I receive my handshake already when I arrive. 

I'll be darned. There is that restaurant again, LOL. Wise move to be situated on a bridge ;-)

My least favorite meal of the three I've had here so far.
But look at the VIEW ;-)

I get back to the hotel around noon and can't resist the bed and the DOWN DUVET ;-)

3 pm

I step onto the balcony and am almost knocked down by the HEAT.  A quick check of the weather forecast confirms that it is TWENTY degrees out on my wind-sheltered terrace. OMG, how I have missed that, LOL.  To get to Istanbul's forecast I had to look up Vancouver's and I feel sorry for people I know.  A HEAVY RAINFALL warning.   AGAIN.  OUCH !

4 pm

What to do?   Yes, I could run around and try to see more.  But as a by now slightly experienced traveller, I do realize that this is futile.  This city has SO MUCH MORE to see, that another few hours won't even make a dent.  And a quiet evening can't hurt either.  It's back to reality tomorrow and a bit of rest time might come in handy.

The day is coming to an end.
This morning I saw signs of the sun rising behind me reflected on the other side of the Golden Horn.

Now I see the sun setting there

A place where I get to witness and enjoy BOTH rise AND set of the sun?  
I just know I'll be back ;-)
The varying mix of natural and artificial light is so special.

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