I have been giving a couple of trainings in Istanbul a couple of weeks ago and was lucky enough to spend a little extra time in a city that has been on my wish list for a long long time. I’ve visited this captivating city around 20 years ago the last time, and the only thing I remember was this restaurant overseeing the Boshporus, still one of the nicest places I have been until now. Sadly, I don’t have any name or address from these days. But Istnabul is full of fantastic spots, and I had really good food these days.
The first impression I had came when strolling along the Galata bridge crossing the Golden Horn where fishers would try their luck. What you see in the background is the Süleymaniye Mosque, the one I liked most during our visit. On the golden boats fish is fried and offered in a sandwich. We tried one but it was not the best in town I’m afraid (too much dry bread, to little fish).
The inside of the Ottoman Süleymaniye Mosque is jaw dropping with Islamic and Byzantine architectural elements, and was much nicer in my opinion than the popular tourist attraction Sultan Ahmed Mosque (or Blue Mosque), much cleaner and very calm, too. We got there by mistake and were really lucky!
These spots are occupied for ritual washings (feet, hands, forearms and face) before formal prayer. It’s looks so peaceful on the image.
This is the view from the backyard of the mosque and my favorite picture of this trip. I plan to frame it, just have to think still where to hang it. What you see here is a view over the Bosphorus on the right and the Galata bridge. The right side of the river would be the Asian part of Istanbul.
There is so much to see. When you have done your must-see program (I did not a lot) and do not have much time, going somehow with the flow, is just the best I’d recommend. Isn’t that kiosk stunning? It almost hurts observing all the bold packaging and branding stacked up on the ancient ledge.
You find artisan and handcrafted articles everywhere. Shop owners are very aware of the many tourists in search of a original gift to bring with or buyers who shop on the different bazars. And that’s what we did.
I just wanted an Ikat cushion pillow, I promise …but ended up with hand loomed peshmatals (originally bath towels which depending on the design serve for different proposals. I’ll use them on the beach), lamb fur, raw silk foulards and sweets. Glad I had my large suitcase with me this time because I like to travel very light.
It’s been really chilly, a hot tea served on the street felt good. I would like to visit Istanbul again but during a warmer season. It must be a totally different feeling during summer. I imagine the city more colorful and greener.
This is one entrance to the tiled kiosk museum belonging to the Archeological Museums. You’ll find tiles and pottery here dating from the 11-20th centuries.
And then there was this café. The first morning when visiting the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, we were late and grabbed a taxi to get downtown as soon as possible passing by this enchanting spot. I so much wanted to make the taxi driver stop and at least get a picture of this place but it was just a “now you see it, now you don’t”. The last day we took the tram and guess what I discovered again at the final stop in Kabatas?
If you’ve come directly on the blog today, don’t miss this little video we been filming of Istanbul with a gorgeous view over the Bosphorus!