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Wednesday, Spent All Day Exploring Istanbul

Istanbul, Turkey
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
I had an excellent breakfast at the Gran Peninsula Hotel at 08:00 at the rooftop restaurant. There was a lot of food. I had gone out at 07:00 and the receptionist was asleep on the couch and told me that breakfast wasn't until 08:00 so I had to wait an hour.

After breakfast, I headed out and walked all over the historic districts of Istanbul. I started by walking the 2 kms to the Grand Bazaar. I made the rounds inside and then walked through the crowded streets around the bazaar which were also full of venders. I had a Turkish coffee and some kind of pasta cake in a little backstreet cafe and watched all the delivery guys bringing merchandise to the vendors on big dollies.

After the Grand Bazaar, I took a tram and then the metro to an outer neighborhood where the Chora Church is located. It took me awhile to find the church because Google Maps wouldn't lock in on my position. The church interior was very nice with all of the mosaics but the exterior was totally covered up because of construction. The mosaics reminded me of the famous churches of Ravenna, Italy.

After the Chora Church, I took a long metro ride across the stretch of water called the Golden Horn. The Galata Tower is on the other side. I saw that there was a metro stop in the middle of the Metro Bridge so I got out there to take in the excellent city views from the raised platform. From the middle of the bridge, I walked all the way up the hill to the Galata Tower. The streets around the tower are bustling and interesting. I didn't go to the top of the tower because I did that the last time I was there in 2010. I was also in Istanbul in 1993 for a few days.

Next, I followed Istiklal Street, which is the main, wide, pedestrian shopping street that leads away from the tower in the opposite direction from the water. I made a big loop and then walked back down to the waterfront to watch the sunset. After the sunset, I walked back out to the middle of the Metro Bridge to take some night photos of the mosque lights and the lighted pedestrian part of the bridge.


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