Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sea Cruise.. or maybe not

TODAY'S PHOTO ALBUM: Istanbul - Day 4

Happy Valentine's Day.  Not going to go into a lot of detail here, but we wound up taking a very scenic cab ride over one of the great bridges of Istanbul, on the way to the American Hospital last night. Apparently things were a bit worse than first expected from my fall.  They were very efficient. Nothing too serious and with a bit of rest and lots of ice, I should be fine.  So we'll see how long I can hang out in a hotel room, my bet is not too long. Certainly put a damper on Valentine's Day! Bummer.

Went up to breakfast and everyone was concerned with my welfare.  The hotel staff could not have been more helpful. Located the an open pharmacy on Sunday down by Sultanahmet Square and filled the prescription the doctor gave me.  The sun was out and the was warm, so we walked back to the "scene of the crime" and took some pictures of the culprit that tripped me up.  The same guys that were there yesterday stopped me to see how I was doing. Great, I am not known in Istanbul! On the way back to the hotel, I took some more beauty shots of the Square since the sun was out. We stopped into a park across the way from us and enjoyed the views there before returning to the room.

I know I should have stayed inside to heal some more, but it was just too beautiful outside. So we packed our day back and headed for the waterfront. Well, everyone was out in full force today. Not sure if it's just Sunday or because the weather is so nice, whatever it is, it was crazy down there.

On our way to find the Rustem Pasa Camii (Mosque), we passed by the one of the original steam engines used by the Orient Express. We also stopped to take pictures outside of the Yeni Camii - the afternoon prayers were beginning so no entrance.  We were told that the entrance to the Rustem Pasa Mosque was somewhere in the middle of the Egyptian Spice Market, so we made our way over there. Very crowded - lots to see and the smells were outrageous. Turned on the gps and lo and behold, right in the middle of all the chaos it took us to a narrow doorway with dark stairs leading up -- this was the entrance to the mosque.
The Rüstem Pasha Mosque is famous for its large quantities of İznik tiles, set in a very wide variety of floral and geometric designs, which cover not only the façade of the porch but also the mihrabminbar and walls. There are around 80 different patterns. These tiles exhibit the early use of a tomato-red color that would become characteristic of İznik pottery. Some of the tiles, particularly those in a large panel under the portico to the left main entrance, are decorated with sage green and dark manganese purple that are characteristic of the earlier 'Damascus ware' coloring scheme. No other mosque in Istanbul makes such a lavish use of these tiles.
There was talk of taking a short boat cruise down the Bosphorous after lunch. We found a nice spot by one of the many Mosques and ordered lunch. Immediately we were surrounded by a few cats - nothing too aggressive and all very healthy. Cats and dogs are everywhere in Istanbul and they are all very well looked after. They may run free, but they are all tagged that they have had shots. They are very cool animals. Lunch was taking a bit longer than we expected and I decided it was best to head back to room and lick my wounds a bit longer.  Had them wrap up the lunch to go.  Resting now. Not sure if we are going to head back out or not.  We are getting picked up at 3am for our flight to Egypt.

Well we didn't get very far hanging around the room. Geoff remembered that we forgot to do our Jerry B ceremony down by the water - so off we went. The sun started setting as we approached the Golden Horn which only made the city look even more magical.. We made a short stop wandering through the Sirkeci Train Terminal:
On October 4, 1883, the first voyage of the Orient Express departed from Gare de l'Est in ParisFrance, with farewell music from Mozart’s Turkish March. The train was a project of Belgian businessman Georges Nagelmackers. The route passed through StrasbourgKarlsruheStuttgartUlm,and Munich in GermanyVienna in AustriaBudapest in Hungary, Bucharest in RomaniaRousse and Varna in Bulgaria ending in Sirkeci Terminal Istanbul. The travel took 80 hours for the 3,094 kilometers.
Took in the sights along the waterfront and wandered along the Galata Bridge:
The Galata Bridge was a symbolic link between the traditional city of Istanbul proper, site of the imperial palace and principal religious and secular institutions of the empire, and the districts of GalataBeyoğlu, Şişli and Harbiye, where a large proportion of the inhabitants were non-Muslims and where foreign merchants and diplomats lived and worked. As Peyami Safa wrote in his novel, Fatih-Harbiye, a person who went from Fatih to Harbiye via the bridge set foot in a different civilization and a different culture. Apart from its place in fiction, the romantic appearance of the Galata Bridge made it the subject of many paintings and engravings.
There are currently two levels. The bottom hosting a series of restaurants directly over the water, and the top hosting many fishermen looking for the evenings catch. All very colorful. There are even food vendors who come just to feed the fishermen while they fish.

Good-bye Istanbul
We never did get our sea cruise but we had a lovely day in spite of everything. We took a leisure stroll back and said goodbye to Istanbul.  Did manage to stop for some Turkish Delights for a Valentine's treat. We made a picnic fin the room of this afternoon's lunch and watched Johnny Depp play The Donald on Funny or Die on our computer, while I rested my wounds.  A Valentine's dinner to remember!   On to Egypt!

Next time... Welcome to Cairo

TODAY'S PHOTO ALBUM: Istanbul - Day 4

1 comment:

  1. Jeez, Sue...I almost choked on my English muffin reading about the accident, I feel sad for you and Geoff as well. Other than that Mrs. Lincol;n its been a wonderful show so far. The pictures of the sights have been absolute magic. Stunning shots of the Bazaar. Glad Istanbul had a sweet ending. Well I'm off to watch Johnny Depp, see you in Cairo.