On Monday morning, we wanted to find someplace that was a bit out of the way. The hotel reception suggested that we catch the tram and get off close to the outer wall of the city. He told us that a 20 minute walk would take us to the Bosphorus Strait and then another 20 minute walk would bring us back into the Sultanahmet area. He was right about how to get there, but we apparently walked a LITTLE bit slower….we walked for over 2 hours and never made it to the Strait!!!
He was able, however, to tell us how to get to the Tram, purchase a token, and get to our destination.
We watched as several people moved so that older persons could sit down and one man moved so that Michael could sit by me….he must look REALLY old!!!
We got out at our station and started to walk toward the wall but there was a huge street that we had to cross and traffic was horrible. As we are standing there trying to figure out how we were going to judge when to jump into traffic, Michael pointed to the sign that said to use the subway tunnel to cross the street….much easier!! We even had a taxi and a bus stop for us during this time so we were well cared for!!!
We wandered back and forth between the inside and outside of the wall, spending most of our time at the Bahceler Mudurlugu Park which ran along the outside. Although much of the area was fairly rough, we did see some pretty wildflowers…. ….and these fun beans from a Mimosa tree. It reminded us of a Texas Mesquite tree…..We had come to a long stretch where there was no archway between the outside and inside of the wall and we wanted to get back inside. What to do….what to do!!! We did what we always do….when in doubt, follow a local!!
…and our unknowing tour guide led us exactly where we wanted to go….
By now we had seen enough of the wall and wanted to walk around in the neighboring areas. We looked at a map and had a general idea of where we were as we walked. Then we passed a street market and everything changed…..
We followed this market for several blocks and thoroughly enjoyed the sights and sounds of people buying their daily vegies.
These dried apricots were too pretty to pickup……
Of course, some stalls dont have any order to them at all. They are simply a hodge-podge of every imaginable product…..
I was interested in one shop-keeper’s method of sprinkling his vegetables with water. He would dip a bunch of parsley in water and then use it to sprinkle water over everything else!!!
We walked past the arena and further into the bowels of a residential area. Once again we were accosted by little boys…..
As one passing stranger said “All the child needs a photo!!!”
At this point we had walked enough and knew that our hotel was a LONG, LONG, LONG way from us (and uphill all the way), so we hailed a passing taxi and gave him the instructions for getting to our hotel. Unfortunately, it appeared that he probably couldn’t read but he finally saw the word “Sultanahmet” (which is the general area where all of the tourist sites are) and off he went.
Well, after about 15 minutes of wild driving, we arrived at a mosque that “looked” like the Blue Mosque. We thought that we were close enough so we motioned that he could let us out there. After we got out, we realized that it was NOT the Blue Mosque and that we were much closer to our hotel, but still a fairly long uphill walk was left.
So, instead of dealing with the problem, we visited another Mosque….the “New Mosque”!!!!
As we entered, we realized that the Imam was teaching a group of men and we were quickly ushered to the “Turist Mahalli” (tourist section) to sit and watch. It was peaceful as we sat on the floor and listened for a few minutes.
We finally had to “step into our map” (Joey style) and finally figured out that we could walk a couple of blocks and then catch the tram back to our hotel area.
We successfully returned to our hotel and enjoyed some relaxing time before going out again for a meal.
After another “Dumbed-down” Turkish food dinner, we first declared that we will NOT return to a tourist restaurant and then decided to stroll our way back to the hotel.
Once again, another fun day….tomorrow….the Grand Bazaar!!!!