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Six years of adventure with pics to prove it.

Day Three ~ redux

Filed under: Turkey — she_travels at 11:43 pm on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Where was I?

More pics from yesterday morning.

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Empty snow dusted streets.

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Blue Mosque in the background.

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Sophia a bit later in the day once the snow had stopped.

The Hagia Sophia is not only Constantinople’s most famous landmarks, it is arguably one of the most famous buildings in the entire world. It was the city’s cathedral and the site of a church originally built by Constantus, son of emperor Constantine the Great. The original church was burned down in 532 and the present church was built between 532 and 537 under the supervision of Justinian I. The original dome fell after an earthquake and the current dome is evidently slightly different.

Over 900 years the Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) was the seat of the Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople, but when the Ottomans captured the city they turned it into a mosque. Minarets were added and the rich frescos were covered over (because of Islamic prohibitions against depicting human figures). Thus it remained for over 500 years until the Turkish government decided to turn it into a museum and tourist attraction in 1935.

At this point I realized I had not attempted to get money from an ATM with my new card, so I turned around and headed for the row of machines I had seen near the Tram stop. Marble steps, nearing killed myself or at least had visions of cracking open a knee.  I tried all three machines, no joy.  Note to self ~ check the expiration date of all your money producing cards before leaving America.

Breakfast is included in my accommodation price so I popped back to the hostel for food.  When I walked in the guy behind the counter asked “Do you need the luggage room key?”  I said “No, I had thought to stay another night cause I am still having bank issues.”  He said “Yes, but we are booked this evening with a group.”  I am sure I looked confused, it is low season and the middle of  the week, what he hell. Deep Breath, Deep Breath, “Is there another place, close you recommend?”   “Yes, Eurasia Hostel just across the street and up a little, I saw you past it this morning.”  “Thank you, breakfast first?”   He nodded.

Dang, Bank issues and now I am getting kicked out….did ya ever have a rougher start to a holiday?

Breakfast in hostels is usually something local-ish and or cornflakes and milk if you choose.  The buffet both mornings I was there was delightful chunks of bread, tomato, cheese, cucumbers, and boiled eggs. I saw many people making sandwiches.  They offer tea, coffee and something yellow to drink, I decided it was a version of lemonade.

Breakfast over I popped across the street to find Eurasia Hostel, indeed it was rock throwing distance from where my bags currently were.  I had been in a chilly 4 bed dorm with cats fighting out the window (11euro) , I was offered a very warm 12 bed mixed dorm for 10 euro. I asked what the single price was he said “26 euro”. Ahh, dorm it is then.  He asked if I needed help with my bags, I told him no, paid him and was off to pack my bag.

Alrighty, bed for the evening sorted, back to the bank boggle. Oh by the by I decided between the bank issue and the weather I would hang here in Istanbul a bit longer.

On my way back into town I noticed many people about the Blue Mosque, perhaps this is the time to go inside. It is free,  though one has to go through the correct door, take your shoes off and cover your head, this last bits no problem do to the cold temps.

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Inside the courtyard.

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Sophia from inside the Blue Mosque courtyard.  The people, Asians from a bus I saw on the other side of  the building.

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Inside the interior courtyard. I saw a guy shooing people away from what looked like a door toward an exit through the courtyard, I followed suit before he had to tell me as well.

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It would see many a person from many a place come to see the Blue Mosque.

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It is impressive from many angles. Not my best pics due to the low light but you can see all the blue tiles…thus, Blue Mosque.

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Plenty of stained glass in the place.

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The vastness of it is overwhelming.

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From the exit side of the building.

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Tis tough to get a pics which truly show the huge-ness of  the place.

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I thought maybe if I found another bank’s ATM my card would work so… random street roaming, tis one of my favorite things cause ya never know what  you will come across.

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Do you even believe how old this building looks.

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Brick work of the Grand Bazaar.  This place feels like an indoor mall but far far HUGER and no doors to the stores, so think a cross between a flea market with vendors and a mall.  I didn’t wander much being I was enticed to have tea, food and conversation, see previous post.  I may have to go back….or not being I am not a shopper.

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From the coffee shop were we had tea, apple tea, yummy.  Later it was suggested I taste rose-hips tea, yeah cool, it’s good too. One of the beverages they offered at lunch was  a yogurt, water and salt something… it takes some getting used to but I bet it would be yummy on a hot day. I was also offered dang, I can’t remember what flavor of baklava it was, but it is mandatory to have tea when one eats sweets on this part of he world.  Truly, a delightful day.

Ended with a bit of sun…

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For a very nice sun set..

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It would seem the people in this place are not early risers. The heat in the dorm woke me before call to prayer, holy hannah was it HOT.  I sorted myself, with flashlight in hand went to the terrace to see the weather and post more pics. I was not joined by others until 830a.

The sun may be going to come out today, it is still  cold, ice on the outside tables.

Oh yeah, I called the bank two more times yesterday. Once while I was with my new friends in the grand bizarre, they insisted. Nice people! Anywho the bank said to call back after 3, I did to the tune of 59 minutes and 14 bucks.

They decided to send yet another card, to the new hostel, so.. I wait. I may have a visit to the Asian Side of Istanbul. I am still not at all sure why they call it the Asian Side. Perhaps I will learn today.

1 Comment

Comment by treeowner

February 8, 2010 @ 8:47 pm

oh My ! Hope you have solved your bank card problem. I was in Portland for a convention will try to get caught up on your lovely adventure ! Hugs & Prayers, Larena

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