"Adventure without risk is Disneyland..." - Doug Coupland
|(Vialand is just like Disneyland)|
Day 09: Friday, 22 April 2016
After breakfast we went for a day tour of Istanbul. First stop was at a carpet shop where we spent some time there and bought some silk carpets. Our next stop was the grand bazaar.
|(Getting ready for the day tour of Istanbul)|
|(The 5-star Vialand hotel corridor)|
|(The view from the hotel restaurant)|
|(The staircase from the restaurant leading to the lobby)|
|(Waiting area and smokers corner)|
|(A nice view of the amusement park)|
|(Many roller-coaster rides and live shows)|
|(Huge pillars of the Vialand Palace Hotel)|
|(Spacious and private waiting areas)|
Istanbul Carpet Shop
Carpet shopping in Istanbul is an intense experience. With an endless amount of styles, sizes, and colors to choose from, picking the right one from the right shop can be quite stressful. Some of the world’s best craftsmanship on wool kilim rugs and detailed carpets is Turkish. Carpet shopping is traditionally a social experience. Once we entered the carpet shop, we were offered a seat and a glass of aromatic tea. Then we watched salesmen lugged out carpet after carpet. And I ended up buying a carpet for our Bidara house and two silk carpets to be framed on the wall.
And out of all the souvenirs I’ve bought in Turkey over these years, my silk Turkish carpets are the few items I know I will always keep.
|(A demonstration in a large briefing hall)|
|(Vibrant colors of carpets on the wall)|
|(Preferences for colors, sizes and patterns)|
|(A short course in Turkish carpetology)|
|(One of the many beautiful and expensive silk carpet)|
|(A rest before visiting next attractions)|
The Grand Bazaar, Istanbul
The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 3,000 shops which attract between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily.
|(A short walk from the carpet shop)|
|(The exterior domes of the Grand Bazaar)|
|(The Nuruosmaniye Gate of the Grand Bazaar)|
|(Preserved decorations of the roof)|
|(Covered streets with over 3,000 shops)|
|(Colorful and intricately designed lanterns)|
|(Antique Market at the Old Bazaar section)|
|(Having tea in the Grand Bazaar)|
|(Exiting at the other end of the bazaar)|
|(One of the many entrances to the bazaar)|
Kumkapi Fish Restaurant
Kumkapi, the old Armenian quarter is a mixture of small shops and some restaurant and hotel spillover from Sultanhamet era. The street ends up at Kumkapi Meydani, a small circle with a fountain that has streets lined with fish restaurants.
We had baked sea-bass for lunch at one of the many restaurants overlooking the Bosphorus.
|(The many seafood restaurants)|
|(Brightly decorated street)|
|(A fountain at the Kumkapi Meydani)|
After lunch the bus stopped a distance away from the Suleymaniye Mosquè and only five of us walked about 15 minutes to visit the magnificent mosque. The rest were either too tired or not interested so they rather wait in the bus.
The Süleymaniye Mosque
The Süleymaniye Mosque is an Ottoman imperial mosque located on the Third Hill of Istanbul. It is the largest mosque in the city, and one of the best-known sights of Istanbul. The Süleymaniye dominates the Golden Horn, providing a landmark for the entire city. Though it's not the largest of the Ottoman mosques, it is certainly one of the grandest and most beautiful. It's also unusual in that many of its original mosque complex buildings have been retained and adapted for reuse.
|(Narrow street leading to the mosque)|
|(The courtyard of the mosque)|
|(The main prayer hall full of tourists)|
|(Half domes featuring fine calligraphy)|
|(The dome as large as the Byzantine Basillica)|
|(Arabic calligraphy adorning the domes)|
|(Stained glass windows brighten the praying hall)|
|(Breathtaking in size and pleasing in simplicity)|
|(Spectacular persimmon-colored floor carpet)|
|(Neat rows of shoe racks)|
|(Gorgeous stained-glass windows with honeycomb detail)|
The coach then took us to Eminonu Yeni Cami mosque to perform our prayers. After that we were allowed about 2 hours to explore the Spice Market situated next to the mosqùe.
Eminonu Yeni Cami
The Yeni Cami or New Mosque, is originally named the Valide Sultan Mosque and later Yeni Valide Sultan Cami after its partial reconstruction and completion. It is an Ottoman imperial mosque located in the Eminönü quarter of Istanbul, and is one of the famous architectural landmarks of Istanbul.
|(The sun is shining brightly)|
|(A view from the back street)|
|(The interior domes of the new mosque)|
|(Large piers supporting the dome)|
|(Shoe racks at ladies praying areas)|
|(The new mosque from the Spice Market)|
Spice Market, Istanbul
The Spice Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the largest bazaars in the city. Located in the Eminönü quarter of the Fatih district, it is the most famous covered shopping complex after the Grand Bazaar. The bazaar was the center for spice trade in Istanbul, but in the last years more and more shops of other type are replacing the spice shops. The building itself is part of the complex of the New Mosque. The revenues obtained from the rented shops inside the bazaar building were used for the up keeping of the mosque.
|(The entrance to the Spice Market)|
|(Shop no: 6, the tour guide choice)|
|(Variety of powdered or dried spices)|
|(Varieties of Turkish delights)|
|(Sweets and halwa of dried fruits)|
|(Perfumed soaps, colorful and scented)|
|(Dried rose tea, a way to destress)|
|(Bronze statues of the chestnut sellers)|
Tonight after dinner we went for a stroll at the shopping outlet next to our hotel.