Going walkabouts

Istanbul Travel Blog

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Ortakoy Mosque and the Bosphorus Bridge

People who contributed to, and improved my trip: Julia (Russia), Hakan (Turkey)

On Friday we were going to join some other couchsurfers and visit some sights, but when we found out how much the admission fees were, so instead opted to go for a walk. The weather was superb and it therefore seemed as good a time as any to show Julia Ortakoy Mosque and the Bosphorus Bridge. It took an hour or so to walk there and along the way we stopped for some burek, which is a pastry that is traditionally stuffed with meat, cheese or potato.

Having taken a look around Ortakoy's star attractions, we wandered towards Besiktas and stopped off at the peaceful Yildiz Park. From here it took half an hour or so to reach Dolmabache Palace, but to gain entrance with our cameras would cost 52YTL ($32.

Mosque and statue in Besiktas
50) between us, which i thought was a complete piss take. Instead we had a quick walk through the gardens and then went and sat by the Bosphorus, enjoying what was left of the afternoon sun.

Hakan had arranged to meet us around 17.30 and this gave us time to stroll across the Galata Bridge, have an early Dinner and then go to Mavi Guest house, which was where we had planned to meet. Unfortunately we were left waiting for an hour in the cold, with no explanation given. It wasn't the biggest deal, but I'm always baffled why people don't at least offer an apology for turning up late.

Rather a large couchsurfing meeting had been arranged for the evening, with 60 people having signed up, but from what i could tell no more than 20 made an appearance. The bar agreed to provide free water pipes for us all, and large beers were a reasonable 4YTL ($2.
Guard stood in front of Dolmabahce Palace
5), so we settled in for the evening. Hakan and i played a couple of games of Tavla and we both won one set each, with the dice playing a major factor in most of the games. In order to get home we had to leave at 23.15, so as to catch the tram, funicular and metro, before they closed. The journey took over an hour, which is my one complaint about most big cities - they just take too long to get around.

On Saturday we decided to catch the metro to Taksim and then partake in another long walk around the City. Our journey began by walking the length of Istiklal Caddesi, which finally brought us to the Galata Tower. We admired the structure from the outside and bought a 1YTL ($0.60) kebab and 1YTL fresh fruit juice and took these with us, as we meandered across the Galata Bridge.
Sunset at Suleymaniye Camii
Our route took us along the banks of the Bosphorus and as far as the district of Zeyrek, where we lingered long enough to admire the Zeyrek Camii and surrounding streets and grab a delicious lahmacun.

The food break was a welcome one and gave us the energy to wander beside the Aqueduct of Valens, towards the stunning Sehzade Mehmet Camii. I hadn't even heard of this Mosque before, let alone been there, but i thought it was one of the nicest Mosques in Turkey. Maybe part of the reason for this was that it was not over run by tourists, in fact we were the only ones there. As luck should have it a tourist bus pulled up just as we were leaving the grounds and it made me wonder if i would have liked it so much had we arrived 10 minutes later.

Continuing through the pleasant streets of Kalenderhane took us past Suleymaniye Camii and through a small bazaar, before we crossed back over the Galata Bridge and made our way to Taksim to catch the Metro home.
Sunset over the Bosphorus and Suleymaniye Camii
It had been another marathon day of walking and it had left us both starving, so Julia decided that she would cook us - with my help of course :) - a large Dinner of spaghetti in her tasty tomato sauce. My portion could have fed a small country and i was struggling to leave the table by the time i had finished. We spent the remainder of the evening relaxing in the flat alone, as Hakan had gone to his parents for the weekend.

The weather on Sunday reminded me of an English summers day - rain, rain and more rain. We had seen the main attractions that we wanted to in Istanbul and neither of us wanted to get soaked just to see a few b-grade sites, so we spent the day at home.
A view of Beyoglu, with the Galata Tower in the centre
Julia cooked up another feast in the evening, which included aubergines, salad and potato wedges, it certainly beat a kebab.

On Monday the weather was once again pretty bleak, but we decided that we would go out regardless, as it was our last day in Istanbul. It took 90 minutes to get from Levent to Yedikule, where there are some impressive City Walls that date back over one and a half millennium. There was a 5YTL fee to enter one small section, so we didn't bother with this, instead opting to walk along a fair chunk of it that was located next to the main road. During the couple of hours that we were there, we were lucky enough to get a glimpse of blue sky and more importantly the rain held off.

In the evening Julia cooked some chicken fillets with mAshed potato and salad, which was really delicious and only cost 3YTL ($2.10) each for the ingredients, which goes to show how well you can eat for very little money, when you self cater. The following day we packed our belongings and bode farewell to Hakan. It had been another memorable stay in one of Europe's - or should i say Asia's - most glorious metropolises.

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Ortakoy Mosque and the Bosphorus B…
Ortakoy Mosque and the Bosphorus …
Mosque and statue in Besiktas
Mosque and statue in Besiktas
Guard stood in front of Dolmabahce…
Guard stood in front of Dolmabahc…
Sunset at Suleymaniye Camii
Sunset at Suleymaniye Camii
Sunset over the Bosphorus and Sule…
Sunset over the Bosphorus and Sul…
A view of Beyoglu, with the Galata…
A view of Beyoglu, with the Galat…
Skyline in the area of Levent
Skyline in the area of Levent
Me at Ortakoy Mosque, with the Bos…
Me at Ortakoy Mosque, with the Bo…
Ortakoy Mosque
Ortakoy Mosque
Squirrel nibbling on a nut in Yild…
Squirrel nibbling on a nut in Yil…
Squirrel nibbling on a nut in Yild…
Squirrel nibbling on a nut in Yil…
Squirrel running down a tree in Yi…
Squirrel running down a tree in Y…
Julia in front of the idiot cafe…
Julia in front of the 'idiot cafe…
Guards stood in front of Dolmabahc…
Guards stood in front of Dolmabah…
Main entrance to Dolmabahce Palace
Main entrance to Dolmabahce Palace
Seagull sat beside the Bosphorus R…
Seagull sat beside the Bosphorus …
The Bosphorus Bridge spanning the …
The Bosphorus Bridge spanning the…
Seagull flying above the Bosphorus…
Seagull flying above the Bosphoru…
Minaret at Valide Sultan Mosque
Minaret at Valide Sultan Mosque
Building on Necatibey Caddesi
Building on Necatibey Caddesi
Fishermen on the Galata Bridge, wi…
Fishermen on the Galata Bridge, w…
Yeni Camii
Yeni Camii
Istiklal Caddesi
Istiklal Caddesi
Corn seller on Istiklal Caddesi
Corn seller on Istiklal Caddesi
Tram on Istiklal Caddesi
Tram on Istiklal Caddesi
Tram on Istiklal Caddesi
Tram on Istiklal Caddesi
Galata Tower
Galata Tower
Fishermen on the Galata Bridge, wi…
Fishermen on the Galata Bridge, w…
Bird on the Bosphorus, with the Ga…
Bird on the Bosphorus, with the G…
The Bosphorus, with the Galata Tow…
The Bosphorus, with the Galata To…
Simit Seller
Simit Seller
Simit seller
Simit seller
Zeyrek Camii
Zeyrek Camii
The view from the gardens at Zeyre…
The view from the gardens at Zeyr…
Views of the Bosphorus and Istanbu…
Views of the Bosphorus and Istanb…
Man breaking up wood in the street…
Man breaking up wood in the stree…
Wooden house near Zeyrek Camii
Wooden house near Zeyrek Camii
Street scene near Zeyrek Camii
Street scene near Zeyrek Camii
Aqueduct of Valens
Aqueduct of Valens
Woman in a window near Zeyrek Camii
Woman in a window near Zeyrek Camii
Aqueduct of Valens
Aqueduct of Valens
Statue in Fatih Aniti Park
Statue in Fatih Aniti Park
Statue in Fatih Aniti Park
Statue in Fatih Aniti Park
Aqueduct of Valens
Aqueduct of Valens
Sehzade Mehmet Camii
Sehzade Mehmet Camii
Interior of Sehzade Mehmet Camii
Interior of Sehzade Mehmet Camii
Roof of Sehzade Mehmet Camii
Roof of Sehzade Mehmet Camii
Minbar at Sehzade Mehmet Camii
Minbar at Sehzade Mehmet Camii
Interior of Sehzade Mehmet Camii
Interior of Sehzade Mehmet Camii
Courtyard and ablutions fountain a…
Courtyard and ablutions fountain …
Cemetery and Sehzade Mehmet Camii
Cemetery and Sehzade Mehmet Camii
Sunset at Suleymaniye Camii
Sunset at Suleymaniye Camii
Sunset over the Bosphorus and Sule…
Sunset over the Bosphorus and Sul…
Istiklal Caddesi
Istiklal Caddesi
Istanbul
photo by: Memo