A Day in Istanbul

We have been in Istanbul for 6, or so, nights all up now.  It’s time to do some of the touristy stuff.  It’s time to look the part.  Backpack on, camera strung around my neck, off we go.  It’s Ivy, Jamie, the Pazzo’s brother, his brother-in-law and me.  Yanni’s is not well, given that The Pazzo has seen these places before, he volunteered to stay.  

First we stopped at Starbucks, you know for a caffeine/sugar fix, depending on age of course!  We took a taxi to the old town and the queuing begins.  The Cistern is our first proper destination.  It is a Roman water storage chamber, built in 532AD.  Considering its age, it’s an amazing structure and is still in excellent condition.  It even has legendary Medusa heads carved into the base of a couple of the pillars.  They are upside down and sides ways, so that she can’t look at anyone and turn them to stone.  The whole place has a beautiful candle lit atmosphere. 

the Cistern, with its candle lit atmosphere



Medusa, upside down

 Our next destination was Hagia Sophia, a Greek Orthodox Church, built in 537AD.  Later it was converted into a Mosque, and finally in the 1930s it became a museum.  It is beautiful.  It shows its history with some beautiful Christian mosaics, which have been recently uncovered, as well as stone carvings where the Christian crosses have been “scrubbed” off, but all the while it looks very much like a Mosque.  It’s a very intriguing place. 

Inside Hagia Sophia

It has a stunning view of the area too!

The view of the Blue Mosque from Hagia Sophia

After lunch (at a “pub” with a roof top restaurant and an amazing view), we set off for the very much anticipated Grand Bizzare.  This has been on my to do list, more specifically, buying a Turkish carpet at the Grand Bizzare, has been on my to do list for a long time now.  Today, however, there would be no carpet purchase.  I did get a bit of a lesson in carpet purchasing though and got to see how absolutely beautiful they can be.  

Today I settled for silk scarves (I know, it is plural, I had to buy two, for a better price, of course)!  This is an incredible place.  I could have wandered through its “streets” all day.  It was a surprisingly relaxed place.  We, then, wandered slowly through the spice market, and under a bridge, full of seafood restaurants, to catch the taxi back to our apartment.  When we got back we found Yanni, finally feeling better.  Good news.

xxx Merri


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