Tuesday, March 4, 2014

101. Farewell to Istanbul ...

Well my time in this wonderful city of Istanbul is sadly coming to an end, and even though I could easily spend another four weeks exploring Ottoman palaces and museums and waterways, it's necessary for me to pack my bags and move on ...

So here are a few snippets of this exotic city that I discovered during my many walks ...

Homeless cats everywhere ...
very friendly though and cared for by the locals ...

Ottoman cats from the 19th century ...

Istanbul is a very hilly city so there are miles of steep cobble-stoned laneways and endless flights of steps to keep the heart pumping ...


Narrow laneway in Fatih ...

lots of interesting graffiti ...

Gay Pride steps ...

 and more proud steps ...

Public transport here is great - from my apartment I would walk to Taksim Square ( 15 minutes ... ) then take the underground funicular down to the harbour's edge and from there I had a choice of trams, ferries or buses to whisk me off to the four corners of the city ...

fast and clean trams ...

Metro - station in middle of "unnamed" bridge ...

It's a habour crowded with ferries of all shapes and sizes ...

didn't try this, but it looks like fun ...

Some of the galleries and museums I visited did not allow photography inside - unfortunately - including the Istanbul Modern Gallery and the amazing Dolmabahce Palace ... 

IM - a great space - old warehouse on the waterfront

The Dolmabahce Palace on the foreshores of the Bosphorus was built by the Ottoman Empire's 31st Sultan Abdulmedic I - between 1843 and 1856 - and contains the world's largest Bohemian crystal chandelier - a gift from Queen Victoria - ( ihas 750 lamps and weighs 4.5 tonnes ... ). Dolmabahçe has the largest collection of Bohemian and Baccarat crystal chandeliers in the world. It is a truly spectacular example of Ottoman extravagance ...


front gate !!!

wharf gate ...

Harem and walled garden ..

Istanbul has an estimated population of 17 million - not including tourists and illegal immigrants and refugees ... so its streets are very crowded ...

Istiklal Avenue ...

the Avenue from high up ...

Eminonu Square ...

Galata ...

Multi-cultural Culture in Istiklal ...

An of course we can't ignore those delicious Turkish Delight shops ...


and the shoe shiners ...


and the bazaars ...


... and the street vendors ...
selling Fairy Floss ...


roasted chestnusts ...


sesame seed coated rolls ( my favourite ) ... 


then there was steaming hot corn cobs + all sorts of sea foods 
or freshly squeezes orange or pomegranate juice ...

flower sellers in Taksim Square ...

Istanbul is a city of fascinating architecture 
including many mosques small and large ...

Roman Bozdogan Aqueduct - 400AD

the New Mosque ...

New Mosque from Galata Bridge ...
on my day of the fish sandwich !!!

Sulemaniye Mosque ...

Turkish and Islamic Artworks Museum ...

Bezmu Alem Valide Sultan Mosque ...

Selzade Mosque

European commercial centre ...

once a grand dame - now ready for the demolishor ...

beautiful "new / old " style ...

and again ...

a renovators' dream !!! ...

The setting sun on my apartment building in Pangalti 
probably telling me it was time to move on ...

A once jewel of the Bosphorus -
with its namesake tower in the background ...

The Monument of the Republic ( 1928 )
Taksim Square


And so after four weeks spent exploring this fabulous crowded fascinating city, 
I have one last Turkish delight and board a jetliner bound for my next adventure ...


Stay tuned ...