Thursday, April 22, 2010

TURKEY - ISTANBUL: BOSPHORUS AND SPICE BAZAAR


After nine days in Turkey, six of them in Istanbul, I must admit that Istanbul has surprised me. Istanbul is a really lively and warm city with an special charm. There are always a lot of people walking along its streets, which made me feel quite comfortable.

And the other 3 days we visited Cappadocia, a region of central Anatolia, where nature has created really amazing shapes. It's really worth walking between this strange shapes and enjoying the other secrets this region hides.

I really expected this day because we had planned that we spent the morning of our third day in Istanbul in Ortaköy and in a cruise up the Bosphorus. The views are truly fantastic! But before we visited Dolmabahçe Gardens.


Mosque of Ortaköy in Istanbul
Mosque of Ortaköy and behind the Bosphorus Bridge, which links Europe and Asia

Visits of the day:
  • Dolmabahçe gardens *
  • Ortaköy *
  • Ortaköy Mosque *
  • Cruise up to the Bosphorus *
  • Beyazit and University of Istanbul
  • Sülemaniye Mosque *
  • Rüstem Pasa Mosque

* Strongly recommended


Dolmabahçe Gardens



Dolmabahçe Gardens in Istanbul 
Dolmabahçe Gardens in Istanbul are quite beautiful but small or, at least, the garden we could visit without buying a ticket. I thought that it would be larger. However, this mosque, the turkish flags and the Bosphorus make this small garden really interesting

Clock tower in Dolmabahçe Gardens in Istanbul
Clock tower in Dolmabahçe Gardens in Istanbul


Dolmabahçe gardens in Istanbul
One of the gates of Dolmabahçe Palace. This gate is the entrance for tourists


Imperial Gate of Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul
The Imperial Gate of the Palace is the main entrance to the palace. It's very decorated



Ortaköy


Mosque of Ortaköy in Istanbul
This mosque is really beautiful, actually like a small palace and is, together with the Bosphorus bridge, one of the great landmark of Istanbul


Fisherman in OrtaköyA fisherman of Ortaköy with Haghia Sophia in the background. Ortaköy is actually a fishing district of Istanbul


Ortaköy in IstanbulFrom here left our cruise only few minutes later. Meanwhile we enjoyed the fantastic views of the Bosphorus from this lively place of Ortaköy

Ortaköy in IstanbulWe took some photos before the departure of our cruise next to this mythical straits


Ortaköy in IstanbulOrtaköy streets are really peaceful and it's really pleasant to walk along between its colourful buildings


Ortaköy in Istanbul
The quayside square is a lively and colourful place of Ortaköy



Cruise up the Bosphorus


Bosphorus bridge in Istanbul
Our cruise had just begun when we cross the Bosphorus bridge, which is quite high and long (with its 1074m is the world's ninth longest suspension bridge)

Bosphorus cruise in Istanbul
We were lucky because the day was lovely, perfect for a cruise along this strategic straits. The environment of the Bosphorus is really beautiful and revitalizing

Bosphorus cruise in Istanbul
The Fatih Sultan Mehmet bridge was built next to the Fortress of Europe, on the left, because this is the narrowest point on the Bosphorus. This fortress with this bridge offers, like Ortaköy mosque and the Bosphorus bridge, a landmark of modernity and history in Istanbul


Fortress of Europe in Istanbul
This fortress of Europe controlled a major Byzantine supply route and was essential for the invasion of Constantinople by the Ottomans. This fortress is in excellent condition and is a pleasant place for an afternoon outing with wonderful views of the Bosphorus

Bosphorus cruise in Istanbul
An overview of the first bridge built across the Bosphorus straits that divide Istanbul and separate Europe from Asia

Bosphorus cruise in IstanbulBehind this colourful building appears the Fortress of Asia, situated also at the narrowest point of the Bosphorus but in the asian continent

Bosphorus cruise in Istanbul
Typical houses of the Bosphorus with their own quays


Bosphorus cruise in Istanbul
The peaceful environment of the Bosphorus contrasts with the lively and busy life of Istanbul

Beylerbeyi Palace in Istanbul beside the Bosphorus
Beylerbeyi Palace, a little palace in the right bank of the Bosphorus

Bosphorus bridge in IstanbulOne last view of the Bosphorus bridge



Ortaköy Mosque



Ortaköy mosque in Istanbul
And after this peaceful and nice cruise, we visited the Ortaköy mosque, and I can say that is one of the most beautiful mosques of Istanbul. It's like a little palace

Ortaköy mosque in Istanbul
The dome of the amazing Ortaköy Mosque

Ortaköy mosque in Istanbul
Like in Haghia Sophia in Istanbul, I could see also in the Ortaköy mosque some calligraphic roundels


Beyazit and University of Istanbul



Istanbul University
This Moorish-style gate leads to the Istanbul University

Beyazit Mosque in Istanbul
Beyazit Mosque just opposite the gateway which leads into Istanbul University. I like this picture because I think it shows the daily day of this district of Istanbul


Sülemaniye Mosque



Tomb of Süleyman next to Sülemaniye mosqueTomb of Süleyman inside the courtyard of Sülemaniye mosque

Sülemaniye mosque in Istanbul
Sülemaniye mosque in Istanbul with one of its minarets. It was a pity that this mosque was closed because of restoration works since this mosque its impressive


Golden Horn from Sülemaniye mosque in IstanbulView of the Golden Horn and the Galata bridge from the Sülemaniye mosque. In Istanbul, the sea can be seen from almost every point of the city


Rüstem Pasa Mosque



Rüstem Pasa mosque in Istanbul
Raised above the busy shops and warehouses around the Spice Bazaar, the Rüstem Pasa mosque is the most magnificently tiled mosque in Istanbul

Rüstem Pasa mosque in Istanbul
Tiles in Rüstem Pasa mosque

Rüstem Pasa mosque in Istanbul
Inside the Rüstem Pasa Mosque there is few people and the environment was really peaceful and cozy with its faint light and red carpets. It's really worth entering this mosque

Spice Bazaar in Istanbul
Spices shown in a shop of one of the crowded streets around the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul



Having dinner in Beyoglu



Finally, after an intense day, we went to a restaurant to have dinner in Beyoglu and I really enjoyed my meal: a huge chicken salad

We were enjoying a lot in Istanbul but, unfortunately, the next day would be the last one. Clicking on the next link, what we visited in our last day in Istanbul. Besides, clicking on the next link you will find all the interesting places in Istanbul and Cappadocia we visited during this trip.




You can see more pictures of these days I spent in Istanbul and Cappadocia clicking on the links below:

First day in Istanbul
- Fourth day in Istanbul
Finally, other great cities I have already visited are:

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