Another day in Istanbul, and another day of long walks, ferry trips, trams, mosques, and ruins. Today, I also added a ride on a cable car, exploration of a Byzantine cistern, and a trip to a contemporary art museum.
I’m pretty wiped out right now, so don’t have much energy for writing, so I’ll just skip to the photos (click to enlarge).
The Basilica Cistern, pictured here, was built around the same time as Hagia Sophia, around 532. Its columns were reused from a variety of ruins in the area. Carp still occupy the waters.
Supposedly, during the early Ottoman period, this became a good spot to dump a body.
One of the ubiquitous men pulling carts struggles up the hill on the outskirts of the Grand Bazaar.
The bazaar had a few more signs of life today than it did last Sunday.
I thought that I might pick up a few spices in the spice market, but I think I'll have to go back when it's not so crowded.
I found a tiny little kebab place, staffed by a friendly waiter, and a more friendly cook. This was the salad that they gave me. It was a spicy sauce to be put on bread that was more similar to salsa than salad.
This simple meal was one of the best that I've had on this trip. Bulgar, lamb, peppers, onions, fennel, lettuce, and tomato. I put a bit of everything on the pita, added a little of the salad, and rolled it up for my dining enjoyment. It was cheap, too.
The friendly cook, who was laboring over hot coals, insisted on taking my picture enjoying the meal that he prepared.
i hopped off the Golden Horn ferry at the last stop, and walked about a mile and a half to get to SantralIstanbul, one of the city's contemporary art museum. I discovered a great exhibit on 20th Century Turkish art in the simple, but elegant museum, which is housed in a former power plant.
After the museum, I walked back the mile and half to the ferry stop, and then waited 45 minutes to take this gondola up a neighboring cemetery hill. The wait was not worth the trip, especially since at the top, I discovered that there was no wait to go down. I would have happily walked up the puny hill, and taken the gondola down for the experience.
The view was pretty impressive at the top.
On the way down, I descended through the cemetery to the Eyup Sultan Mosque.
The Eyup Sultan Mosque is an important pilgrimage site, and the plaza out front was packed with worshipers.
The area around the mosque is full of mausoleums like this one.
The great city walls, constructed by Theodosius II, still stand in tact, for the most part.
The neighborhood around the walls, Kasim Gosim, is particularly colorful.
A small gate in the wall provides one of the few means to penetrate the barrier.
The palace of Constantine Porphyrogenitus pokes out of the neighborhood.
While the Ottomans saved the Byzantine churches, they let the palaces fall to ruin.
I'm sure that most of the houses around here have panoramic views, but on the ground, it's nice to get a brief glimpse out to the Golden Horn.
Not a bad spot to dock a boat, this was where I awaited my ferry to take me back down towards the center of the city.
Another view from a ferry, this one is from up the Golden Horn, back towards the Fatih Mosque (right), the Suleymaniye (center), and the Hagia Sophia (left).
I nice supper snack, this bread, which was stuffed with potatoes, was tasty, and made for me over an upside-down-wok-type device in the open air.
Tad, I read that it took 7,000 slaves to build the Basilica Cistern. Was there a cafe there? If so, maybe they serve carp wraps.
There was a cafe there, but I chose not to see what they had.
Tad, have you ever had a bad day of weather during your trip. Everyday looks so pristine. I remember you said one day in the mountains of China was overcast. Its pretty amazing luck your having. Keep it up, and don’t get to sunburnt.
Not unless you call 120 degrees bad weather, although there have been a couple of overcast days. I was traveling through the desert for much of this trip, though, so it’s no surprise that I haven’t gotten a lot of rain. It looks like I’ll be getting some rain in Italy, though.
A bread and potato sandwich….sounds like you’re carbo loading!
I like your picture of the back alley way with the red home and clothes hanging out to dry. You could create a book of “back alleys” because you have a lot of those types of photos.
Your mom asked if you can bring home some saffron if it’s cheap, have you seen any in the markets?
I know. It sounded weird, but it was actually pretty good. Think of it like potato pierogi.