A long walk in InstanbulJanuary 22, 2011
Posted by Kanga (With update below by Daddybird)
We walked all day. Our hotel is literally just a few blocks from the Blue Mosque. Above is what it looks like in the daylight. We did not go in. We’ll do that another day.
A 180 degree turn resulted in the below view of the Hagia Sophia (originally a Christian cathedral turned into a mosque and then turned into a museum). We didn’t go into that either. Again, something for another day.
Everyone we saw was wearing down filled or wool coats. Here’s DaddyBird in his winter wear. It was pleasantly cool for us. I wore a turtleneck shirt. No coat necessary. It wasn’t windy. Would have been a different story if it had.
We saw many cats over the course of the day and this fellow cat lover.
Case in point, here are a few we saw in a graveyard. There are many old graveyards throughout the city and they seem all to be populated with stray cats. This little white kitten was a sweetie and enjoyed some petting. Unfortunately, the little black one was quite pregnant. That’s the sad part of stray cats, kittens having kittens.
The Turkish men sitting on benches nearby thought we were crazy taking pictures and petting the cats. Maybe so, but we don’t care.
One of the beauties of Istanbul is that you can be walking along and find some ancient ruins laying alongside the sidewalk. This is the remains of the Triumphal Arch of Theodosius.
And you may even see a shoe and bag store on the ruins.
While I was taking this picture of this statue DaddyBird was in the background getting into a conversation with a Pakistani stranger. There were many conversations with strangers over the course of the day, although most were with hawkers trying to convince us to go to their carpet shop or art store or sit down at their restaurant. One restaurant hawker loudly declared his love for DaddyBird.
More of the antiquity – Roman aquaduct.
DaddyBird’s beard was the big attraction of the day. Nearly everyone we passed gawked at him. Old men were impressed. Young men gazed enviously. Children giggled. I told him now he knows how well endowed women feel being looked at all the time.
We kept walking and got off the beaten path into the neighborhood where little or no English is spoken. We stopped into this kebab restaurant where they were pleased to see us and patient with our pointing to the menu to communicate what we wanted.
This pida and mixed grill meal cost us 38 lira ($24.00 or 89 AED).
UPDATE: Here’s a map of the route we walked to today, which I created at http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=4248034