Monday, July 2, 2012

Look what we did!!!!

 

We had two goals for the day.  The first was to get our suitcases packed for our return journey and the second was to find a Lahmacun restaurant.

OK…..first task… PACK.    Let me say that as we shopped in the past 9 days, we would put the bags under the bench in our closet.  There was a large paper bag sitting in the front and the other bags were hidden behind it.  You know….out of sight, out of mind!!!!

This was my first hint that we might be in trouble…DSC04812

After we laid it out, we KNEW that we were in trouble!!!….. DSC04814

I had brought an extra duffle bag that could be used as a carry-on but we were worried that: 1)it wouldn’t hold everything, 2) it wouldn’t be easy to carry, and 3) it would be considered too big for carry-on baggage.

So, Michael got onto the Delta Frequent Flyers site and found, much to our glee, that as a Silver Medallion member, he could check two bags for free.

This called for a quick tram ride to the Bazaar area and the purchase of…..DSC04817 ….a suitcase even bigger than our first two!!!

So, after two hours of careful packing, we ended up with three suitcases and everything packed.   We even found a little bit of spare room….more about that later!!

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Now that the packing task was finished, we figured that we could spend the rest of the day wandering around Istanbul some more.  We had loved our time at the Spice Bazaar, so headed that way again.DSC04819 

After looking for a while, we decided that it was time for tea and coffee so we stopped at the shop we had visited yesterday and asked the proprietor for a good place to go.  He directed us to a small “walk-up” cafe on one of the side “streets” of the Bazaar.   We chose to sit outside and enjoy the drinks……DSC04824

....and this view of the backside of the New Mosque……DSC04822 

We started walking down one street and came across this wonderful statue…..

DSC04825 which indicated that we had entered the fabric and garment district.  I spent a few minutes looking around but didn’t find much to buy.

We were ostensibly trying to get to a small Mosque that was listed in Ricky Boy’s (our name for Rick Steves) book.  We didn’t have a map but were sure that this was the right place…..  DSC04829 

But alas, when we finally wound around and found it, we were disappointed to find that it was a warehouse/shopping area.  DSC04832

The next decision was whether to continue to look for the suggested Mosque, but tiredness won out and we simply wandered back toward the tram line.

We walked down one corridor that I named “Party Central” because every shop sold decorations and items needed to throw a great party.     I even found out that these red “baskets” that have fueled my imagination are actually used when women have Henna Parties (where the tattoos are applied).DSC04833

I had wanted to eat Lahmacun one last time before we left Turkey, but had found that it was hard to find a shop that served it.  Apparently this is because Lahmacun is considered to be a fairly low-brow food that “good people” wouldn’t eat!!  We had seen a couple of shops in one area as the tram passed, so we walked back there and found such a shop.  As we looked at the menu, we were surprised to see the cost was 2.5 Lira ($US1.30)!  So, for 11 Lira ($US5.50) we had two Lahmacun, Shepherd’s salad (tomatoes, cucumbers and basil), wonderful bread and drinks…..Low Brow indeed!!!!

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Since we were back on the tram, we decided to travel past our hotel and visit the Grand  Bazaar one last time

Besides the wealth of goods to purchase, I am totally amazed at the architecture of the building…..DSC04840 DSC04842

While walking along, we found the PERFECT item to fill that little bit of spare space in the suitcase……a Nargile of Michael’s very own!!!! 

We got ourselves COMPLETELY lost in the Bazaar but finally emerged to walk back to the hotel, and buy a dress for me.  After all, we needed something soft to wrap around the water pipe!!!

We returned to relax at the hotel, but there was still one thing that I wanted to do and that was to spend some time in the  Blue Mosque.  Since it was about an hour before the afternoon prayer, I was hoping that the tour groups would already be gone.  Fortunately I was right and there was no line at all to enter the Mosque!!!

I spent about 20 minutes just standing at the back of the building and observing.  As always, I noticed the arches, domes and light……DSC04844

…..SO many cool shapes and colors…..DSC04845DSC04854 I also watched as one man went thru his prayers, moving thru these positions…..

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There were several Fathers and Grandfathers teaching their children or grandchildren how to pray.  This young man was dressed for the occasion… DSC04864

I loved the design of the chandelier……DSC04868

Almost every inch of the Blue Mosque is covered with tiles or windows…..DSC04874 DSC04877

I reluctantly pulled myself away from this peaceful place and decided to hit one last souvenir shop.  I was glad that I did because they had little spoons to go with the tea cups that I bought and heaven knows that you can’t drink Turkish Tea without the little spoons to stir the sugar cubes!!!!

 
For our final meal in Istanbul, we decided to return to  Buhara 93 and enjoy the wonderful bread and food one last time…..

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Michael enjoyed another Pide……DSC04894

…..while I had the Beef Shish (K-Babs)…..DSC04895

Yes Ricky Boy, we recommend it too, but maybe with a corrected spelling!!….DSC04897

We relaxed on the hotel terrace one last time and enjoyed watching as the sun slowly sankDSC04899 

I love how the last rays of sun light up certain areas of the scenes…..DSC04911   DSC04917 DSC04919

And then, at last, the sun was gone and it was time for our journey to end……DSC04924

2 comments:

elle said...

I DO enjoy your travels. Thank you!

Maggi said...

Beautiful photos. I'm not surprised that you had to buy another suitcase though. That Turkish food must be non-fattening as you don't look as though you have been eating as much as you appear to have been!

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