After arriving early in Turkey, a young taxi driver brought us to our hotel (Hotel Nazar), at breakneck speed. It was a lovely day and we felt great! Our three star hotel was excellent, but no other taxi driver had ever heard of it, and for some reason it was filled with Germans.
We took breakfast and set out to explore Istanbul for the first time. Before long we arrived at a mosque that would become our favorite mosque of the city, walking past it almost every day. Suleymaniye Camii. A beautiful building, representative of all Istanbul's mosques, and it had a wonderful courtyard around it, surrounding the mosque with peace and quiet. Something rare in brimming Istanbul. There was a little avenue in front where you could buy orange juice.
It proved to be a long walk to the Golden Horn (Istanbul's natural harbour) and the famous Galata bridge, and we decided to linger in its surroundings till the evening.
Suleymaniye Camii courtyard
The bridge is covered by Turkish flags. Those Turks really like their flag. It's all over the place. On the bridge, I walked past a boy who was shining shoes. He walked off and accidentally left his gear on the bridge. I walked after him to point to his belongings and he seemed very grateful and wanted to shine my shoes in return. Later I read that it was all a setup, and my helpfulness was meant to lure me into letting him shine my shoes.
To find the best food, you have to go to Tunel Square and walk back south. Hunger demanded food quickly and we soon settled for pizza. Not very Turkish perhaps, but we didn't care at the moment. The waiter asked about our plans and offered to give us a big tour around the city, but we wanted to explore it ourselves, so respectfully declined. The Turks seem very hospitable, but I am a bit on edge too. I'm not sure when they are serious or whether they have hidden plans.