Archive for the ‘Istanbul’ Category


You can take the traveller out of Turkey

February 6, 2011

Posted by Kanga.

One last Istanbul kitty.

cat sitting in the basement window sill

And one last glance at our hotel building.

cobble stone street with narrow multistory houses

Only 48 hours back in Dubai and where are we having dinner? Why Harput Restaurant for Turkish food, of course.

restaurant sign

Starting with red lentil & mint soup.

bowl of lentil soup

I forgot to take a picture of the pide and iskender kabab before we descended on it like ravenous wolves.

nearly empty plates

Very tasty and I would definitely recommend this place.


Istanbul Large and Small

February 5, 2011

Posted by Kanga.

On our last full day in Instanbul, we went to Miniaturk Park. This is a park with miniature reproductions of major buildings and structures throughout Turkey. As I was walking around, I thought “maybe we should have come here first,” but then I decided it was just as good, maybe better to look at the reproductions after having seen the real thing in person.

We had already decided that Miniaturk should be on our list of things to do before seeing the advertisement in the Basilica Cistern, which consists of a miniature of Miniaturk (slightly ironic?).

miniature diarama

So here are a few real life/miniature comparisons.

fortress on the shore

Remember Rumeli Fortress from our boat trip up the Bosphorus Strait?

miniature of Rumeli fortress

Galata Tower

Galata Tower

miniature of Galata tower

Basilica Cistern, Roman columns

The Basilica Cistern

miniature of the Basilica Cistern

a cafe built on ancient stone wall and backed by stone wall

Sogukcheshme Street/Cafe Turing

miniature of buildings along the old city wall

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia

miniature of the Hagia Sophia

a town on the shore and a castle on the hill

Anadolu Kavagi/Anadolu Fortress

miniature of Anadolu Fortress

four sided drinking fountain

The Fountain of Ahmet III

miniature of the fountain of Ahmet the third

St. Antoines Church glimpsed through an arched gateway

St Antoine’s Church

minature of St. Antoines Church

grey tabby peeking through a fence

Galatasaray High School

iron work fence with large ornate fence

Blue Mosque

And, last, but not least, the Blue Mosque.

miniature of the Blue Mosque


Istanbul Dogs Have Their Day

February 3, 2011

Posted by Kanga.

Just to prove that we are not total cat elitists, here are a few Istanbul dogs.

large yellow dog sleeping on a red carpet

With it being winter and rather nippy, the dogs on the streets are often curled up and trying to keep warm.

large yellow dog napping under a tree

And they seem to think they can nap just about anywhere.

white dog napping in the middle of a road

I know that they look dead, but I swear that I saw life signs from all of these dogs.

white dog napping on grass

This poor doggy was tied up and the birds were just teasing him.

German shepherd


Bosphorus Boat Ride

February 3, 2011

Posted by Kanga.

view from ferry landing

We took advantage of a brightly sunny and mild day to take the ferry up the Bosphorus Strait to Anadolu Kavagi and back. There were many beautiful sights along the way.

fortress on the shore

Even though we were on a boat, I still managed to get a picture of a cat.

black cat on a roof

DaddyBird’s bare hands got cold after a while.

Our destination – Anadolu Kavagi

a town on the shore and a castle on the hill

The ultimate in hawking – men were calling to us as the boat was landing, telling us that their restaurant was the best and cheapest.

man standing on the edge of a shoreline restaurant

If you have a house on the waterline, it is important to have a boat garage.

houses on the shoreline

We had some lovely fish for lunch.

plate of grilled swordfish

After our three hour exploration of Anadolu Kavagi, it was back to the ferry.

view from the ferry landing

Our day was far from over, however, once we were back to shore. We headed up to Galata Tower.

Galata Tower

And this is why we didn’t climb the tower –

long line of people waiting to go into the tower

We had dinner and did some souvenir shopping along Istiklal street and then took the funicular tram down the hill and then home to the hotel for a deserved rest.

funicular tram

For all of today’s pictures, click here.



February 1, 2011

Posted by Kanga.

We ventured across the Bosphorus to the Asian continent today.

hillside apartment buildings

Food vending carts are common all over Istanbul wherever pedestrians are present. This one has sesame seed covered bread rings. Roasted chestnuts are also common.

vendor's cart

sunset over the water

DaddyBird gave in and got his dirty shoes shined.

man shining another man's shoes

The other day I asked DaddyBird if we’ve ever had bad lentil soup. The answer is still “no.”

bowl of lentil soup

DaddyBird tried the cig kofte (chee coff tay) which is raw meat mixed with bulgar and spices.

meat, lettuce and bread

The view out the window of our restaurant.



Blue Mosque and Istinye Harbor

January 31, 2011

Posted by Kanga.

pizza and mixed grill meals

Brunch followed by rice pudding and tea, started our day.

pudding and tea

Then off to the Blue Mosque to see it from the inside. (Kris, this will explain why it is called the Blue Mosque even though it looks mainly white from the outside.)

men standing outside the Blue Mosque

But, first, Mr. Affable (DaddyBird) got into a conversation with a stranger. This time not a carpet salesman, but a guy who asked to take a picture of DaddyBird’s beard. The beard continues to be a big attraction.

old growth tree outside the Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque is so called due to the inside being covered in beautiful blue tiles.

main dome of the Blue Mosque

It is supported by four massive columns.

massive stone column

For more pictures – click here.

Then we took a taxi up the Bosphorus to Istinye harbor.

boats in the harbor

We stopped in at Fish Var restaurant.

bowl of fish soup

The waiter said the fish soup was good. He was seriously understating it. It was perfect.

two plates of fish

Then came the fish, followed by dessert. We don’t know what this is, but it was delicious!

unknown dessert


Sunday stroll in Istanbul

January 30, 2011

carpet of dogs playing poker

In the land of Turkish carpets, one hardly expects to see a masterpiece like this one. Today’s agenda, which was decided upon after we got up and were dressed, consisted of breakfast, walking through the Hippodrome area, walking down the hill along the tram tracks, and seeing the basilica cistern.

plate of mixed grilled meats

Breakfast, well lunch, but what’s in a name. This is at the Doy Doy Restaurant, just up the street from our hotel.

large stone column structure surrounded by scaffolding

Then on to the Hippodrome area. There was once a hippodrome here, but now all that remains are three structures – Walled Column (above), Serpent Column (below) and Egyptian Obelisk (below that) all from the 4th century C.E.

bronze spiral column

Egyptian obelisk

Then we were off down the hill to get a closer look at things we’ve seen at higher speed from the tram.

old growth tree

Like this old growth tree.

round stone gazebo

This is the Parade Pavilion where sultans would view parades.

Basilica Cistern, Roman columns

On to the Basilica Cistern…

Basilica Cistern

…which is inhabited by fish.

fish in the cistern water

See the rest of the photos at