September 1st, 2008 – by: portia
on the street for Green Mosque and tomb
After our buffet breakfast, we checked out of the hotel and drove into city traffic to find the Green Tomb and the Green Mosque, which were right next to each other. We got instructions from the hotel and pretty easily found them. The Green Tomb ws the tomb of Mehmet I, however it was under renovation and we couldn't get in. So we went into the Green Mosque dating from the 15th century, the most famous monument of Bursa
. It was quiet there, no tour buses, or crowds. As we went in, we were approached by a man who asked where we were from (this happened a lot in Turkey!) and we told him we were from the USA. He was very friendly and showed us all over the Mosque, all the rooms, upstairs, etc. since he was repairing the carpets in the mosque, he was familiar with it.
After visiting the Green Mosque, mom and dad went into a shop near by to buy some souvenirs for friends. We were waiting in the car and then saw the man who showed us the mosque again. His carpet shop was right there, so we went in for a visit, and ended up buying some Iznik tiles. They were pretty and we were happy to buy them from him since he was very helpful in showing us the mosque.
Then we drove a short distance through heavy traffic to the market area of Bursa, where we parked and walked to see the Great Mosque, which was very different from all the other mosques we had seen! Lots of people were inside praying, but the place was so large that we were able to walk around without feeling like we were intruding on them. There were many great calligraphy panels in this mosque.
Then we visited the Koza Han, it had been central to the silk trade and was filled with shops selling various silk products, mostly scarves.
Green Tomb was under renovation and closed
A brochure in the hotel showed that Queen Elizabeth II was here! We went into one of the first shops and mom got some very nice scarves. We then walked to the modern shopping center Zafer Plaza, and ate some quick lunch at a restaurant inside. Since it was Ramadan, most Turks were not eating during the day, so we didn't see many customers there. But they still served lunch. The shopping center is modern and not too different from any western or American shopping malls. They even had a Starbucks, where Dad and Kevin had a coffee after lunch.
Then we went back on the road to find our ferry port at Yalova. We arrived to find the dock empty, and the guard at the entrance said the next ferry was after 7pm! We missed the ferry by no more than 10 minutes! This would have been the fast catamaran going to Istanbul. Instead, we were directed to a smaller port not too far away for another ferry to Gebze
, then we had to drive more into Istanbul. Oh well. nothing we could do but take the smaller ferry and drive more.