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Showing posts from September, 2007

Galata-Beyoglu Trip

Istanbul is always surprising. From Eminonu Square we walk to Karakoy and then climbed to Galata Tower. Galata (also known as Pera) was a colony of the Republic of Genoa between 1273 and 1453. The famous Galata Tower was built by the Genoese in 1348 at the northernmost and highest point of the medieval Genoese citadel. The name comes from the word Galat (meaning Celtic in Greek) as the Celtic tribe of Galatians were thought to have camped here during the Hellenistic period before settling into Galatia in central Anatolia. The inhabitants of Galatia are famous for the Epistle to the Galatians and the Dying Galatian statue. See Galata Tower too.

Grand Bazaar, Istanbul

We went to the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul, from Eminonu Square. The Grand Bazaar is one of the largest covered markets in the world with more than 58 streets and 4,000 shops, and has between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily, in Istanbul. It is well known for its jewelry, pottery, spice, and carpet shops. Many of the stalls in the bazaar are grouped by type of goods, with special areas for leather coats, gold jewelry and the like. The bazaar contains two domed masonry structures called bedestens, the first of which was constructed between 1455 and 1461 by the order of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror, and enlarged during the reign of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent.

Sultanahmet & Hagia Sophia

From Eminonu Square we went to Sultanahmet Square, the Hippodrome of Constantinople, the sporting and social centre of Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire, to see Hagia Sophia. The course of the old racetrack has been indicated with paving, although the actual track is some two metres below the present surface.

Galata Tower

Aboard the ferry ship we went pass the famous Galata Tower in the middle of Istanbul and at the cross section of Bosphorus, Golden Horn. Galata borrows its name from the Celts stayed here for a while on the way to ancient Ankyra (Ankara), Pessinus (near Ankara) and Tavium near Yozgat today, Galatians of Anatolia, Trocmi, Tolistobogii and Tectosages, sons and daughters of Brennus, Leonnorius and Lutarius. More >>>

Eminonu Square, Istanbul

Eminonu Square is the Plaza and Pier where you go to take ferry lines, to go to Sultanahmet Square and Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar, Galata Bridge, Archaeology Museum, Golden Horn and many other great sites at the European side of Istanbul, or just to transfer between ferry lines. Eminonu Square itself is an interesting place where you can see the ambiance of Istanbul. Here are some pics I took at Eminonu Square, Istanbul.

Topkapi Palace, Sultans' Residence

On the way to the Princes' Islands of Istanbul onboard the ferry ship we got the advantage of taking spectacular views of Topkapi Palace, traditional residence of Ottoman sultans at the corner of Marmara Sea, Bosphorus and Golden Horn, with the cruise ships and ferry boats anchored in front of the palace and Golden Horn; and also Hagia Sofia (Saint Sofia) at Sultanahmet Plaza.

Istanbul Princes' Islands

Princes' Islands are popular destinations for day trips from Istanbul. The only transport is by horse and cart on the Islands. They are incredibly peaceful compared with the city of Istanbul. They are just a short ferry ride from both the Asian and European sides of Istanbul. In spring and autumn the islands are quieter and more pleasant. However the sea can be rough in late autumn and winter.

Istanbul Ferry Trip to the Princes' Islands

On a sunny sunday, I met my friend at Kadikoy pier. We took breakfast with a couple of tea and simits, which are croissants of Istanbul.

Then we took the ferry to the Princes' Islands of Istanbul.

Ferry trip is another nice way of travelling Istanbul. Like train trips, you can witness the life and culture of Istanbul. Sea gulls chased us all the way closely and cathed the pieces of simits we throw them.

Train Trips to Istanbul

I love train trips. It is the best way to witness the culture and life of the people where you are travelling. It is not the destination, it is the pleasure of travel itself. (This what BMW tells us in TV commercials.)

I went to Istanbul by a train from Ankara. I boarded in the night, and I was in Istanbul, Haydarpasa Pier next morning. I took a single seat instead of private cabin. Because I don't like to isolate myself and go to sleep but I like to see the people while travelling.