Friday, July 19, 2013

Istanbul- Day two

 
View from our hotel roof
 
Day two in Istanbul and we made the most out of it. We woke up feeling sore due to all the walking and climbing (Istanbul is a hilly city) of the previous afternoon. After a simple breakfast at our hotel we set off by tram to explore the city on the other side of the bridge. We went to Taksim square which was devoid of all kind of protests and harbored only police vans.

 
Taksim Square

We walked down hill toward a posh shopping street called Istikal Caddesi. It had many international brands such as Zara and Mango but also some cheap stores and cafes. Behind the streets, in smaller alleys you can find some vintage shops and also music shops. The atmosphere is very fun.


 
Galata Tower

 
Kebab anyone?


 
Pickles from a gift shop (specialised in food) in Istikal Caddesi
 

 
Evil eye charms at a gift shop in Istikal Caddesi


 
My boys
 
We walked all the way down to Karakoy station where we caught a ferry to the Asian side of the city . The ferry ride was peaceful and restful after an entire morning walking. We did not explore much of the Asian side because they were some protests. Peaceful as they may we decided not to take chances and went back home. But not before we enjoy a simple meal in a cafeteria style restaurant. I had some kebabs with broiled veggies and red rice and my son enjoyed some baked mushrooms with mashed potatoes and cheese on top. The vegetables were so fresh and tasty. The meal could not be complete without complimentary Turkish tea and some Baklavas.



View from the ferry
 

 
Protests on the Asian side

 
Late lunch

 
Another view from the ferry

We went back to the hotel for some needed rest only to head back hours later to the Blue Mosque for the evening prayer. The Mosque and the square around it was packed. I could not believe my eyes when women sometimes barely dressed made their entrance to the Mosque. No one told them anything. It made me think that Turkey was a very tolerant country. They may be Muslims but never extremists. I had rather mixed feelings when I saw women wearing tight fitting clothes roaming outside the Mosque. After all it is a place of worship, and out of respect they should be properly covered. But who am I to judge? I was wearing a maxi skirt that was see-through with leggings underneath it. My summer sweater did not cover my neck but my scarf manage to hide all my hair. The entire day I was dressed in the previous day outfit but at night, I changed into a maxi pleated skirt. I loved the whole ensemble but the skirt is a bit long and makes it hard to navigate around town.
 
 
Blue Mosque

 
What I wore

After the prayer and some pictures, we went to have late diner in small restaurant next to our hotel. We had Lachmacun, which is the Turkish pizza, light, fluffy with well seasoned minced meat. Absolutely delicious! We ended the meal with some Apple tea on the house. I loved every sip of it. We went home and slept barely minutes after our heads touched the pillow for Istanbul had tired us all.

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