A Few Amazing Hours in Istanbul

June 20, 2013 § 6 Comments

Fishing sardines on the river

Fishing sardines on the river

Ferry boats on the river

Ferry boats on the river

DSC00348We are back in Bella Italia and still I haven’t posted on a few beautiful hours we spent in Istanbul enroute from Hong Kong to Venice.  We had a twelve hour stopover that allowed us the time to ‘feel’ Istanbul once again.  We arrived there on the first day of the   protests in Gezi Park.  We were blissfully unaware of any disturbance and took our time wandering over the bridge from the spice market, watching the fishermen pull up sardines in the early morning light, the river busy,  choofing with ferry boats.  We had a gorgeous breakfast on the other side of the river, on the waterfront in the sun, eating hard boiled eggs and beautiful bread and fresh tomatoes and cucumber and olives and goats cheeses.  mmmm.

Pidgeons outside the spice market

Pidgeons outside the spice market

Old lady selling food for the birds

Old lady selling food for the birds

buying seeds

buying seeds

dried peppers and aubergines...

dried peppers and aubergines…

olives

olives

meaty bits

meaty bits

the morning's catch

the morning’s catch

dried fruits

dried fruits and nuts

more dried food

more dried food

fresh produce

fresh produce

spices

spices

dried aubergines and peppers

dried aubergines and peppers

spices

spices

market

market arrangement

the spice market

the spice market

dry fruits

dry fruits

tea sets

tea sets

outside the mosque -a place to wash your feet

outside the mosque -a place to wash your feet

DSC00389

shoe cleaners

shoe cleaners

We wandered back through the spice market buying delectable dried fruits before hopping on a tram that took us to the Grand Bazaar.  It’s a wonderful place, the Grand Bazaar.  I feel like we get a glimpse of history and culture through the amazing assortment of crafts and old finds, like swords and helmets and ancient jewelry, but also the rugs and glass lanterns, the exquisite embroidery on old costumes.  And the ceilings are wonderful.  Some of the vaulted ceilings are ancient.  They are in their unmasked brickwork and their shapes remind me of Rover Thomas paintings from the outback of Australia.  Very earthy.

in the grand bazaar

An alley in the grand bazaar

old knives and jewelry

old knives and jewelry

Amber

Amber

old crucifixes

old crucifixes

old jewelry

old jewelry

antiques

antiques

Tea time in the bazaar

Tea time in the bazaar

shoes

shoes

great painted vaults

great painted vaults

cleaning the light

cleaning the light

cleaning the light

cleaning the light

pipes

pipes

old brick ceilings

old brick ceilings

brick vaults

brick vaults

antique shop

antique shop

helmet

helmet

old lights and shields

old lights and shields

more beautiful old things

more beautiful old things

still in the antique shop

still in the antique shop

antique dress

antique dress

antique dress

antique dress

beautiful old embroidered clothing

beautiful old embroidered clothing

exquisite embroidery detail

exquisite embroidery detail

Coming out of one of the many entrances or exits of the Grand Bazaar, we chanced upon the Burnt Column. It was constructed in 330 AD on the orders of the Roman Emperor, Constantine, to commemorate Byzantine.  It has really been through the wars, it has been through earthquakes and fires and the crusades and their pillaging and it is probably about a third less in height, yet its presence is awesome, monolithic.

After this unexpected find, we took the tram back down to the waterfront, where we once again got on the bridge to find our tucker.  Wonderful.  We specially ordered sardines as we had seen them fished that morning, along with baba ganoush and hommus and olives and tomatoes…. and a lovely cold beer before we made our way back to a very crowded and stuffy airport to await our flight home.

our meal on the bridge - Michael

our meal on the bridge – Michael

fresh sardines

fresh sardines

Advertisements

Tagged: , , , ,

§ 6 Responses to A Few Amazing Hours in Istanbul

  • Catherine Walter says:

    Your pictures brought me back to this extraordinary city…..was there in 1998 with my daughter. Our hotel was close to the Great Bazaar, and we went there every day after visiting other sites….we loved Istanbul. My daughter’s two ” best ” friends are Stambuliots, so every evening we had
    dinner with them in places we would never have found by ourselves!

    I enjoy your blog very much, and admire your art!

    • Oh, lovely, Catherine! We love Istanbul – we want to stay longer to experience more – it is such a rich culture and there is so much history wherever you walk, to say nothing of the ‘sites’. How lucky to have an inside story with eating there too! Thanks for your comment!

  • Dear Michael and Shona we fell in love with the Spice Bazaar too having spent only three hours and wanting more. There is a air of Ali Barbar, mystery, whirling Dhervishes mixed with the heady pungency of turmeric in Constantinople . So glad you had a fab time there. Xxx Paul

    • Paul – we had the best time! I remember you saying how much you loved the spice market and you and Judy were in our minds both time we have been there – absolutely true, Ali Baba and the flying carpets, magic lanterns, genies….. beautiful! xxxx

  • Andrea Waterhouse says:

    What a beautiful visual tour of Istanbul, thank you for sharing your special experiences.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading A Few Amazing Hours in Istanbul at Shona Nunan & Michael Cartwright.

meta

%d bloggers like this: