Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Impressions of Istanbul; I

{We have discovered that we are unable to view Blogspot blogs in Turkey as they are banned, so you may be able to see this but we cannot at the moment.}
Istanbul is wonderful! We are staying in the Sultanahmet area, which is very close to the Blue Mosque and Aya Sophia. Our breakfast view is either of these or the Sea of Mamara. We are wakened by the call to prayer from multiple mosques and by the first trains of the morning.

Romantic Hotel and Erdal, our host
Our view. Yes, that is the railway line and a derelict house below the window, but this is a very old area. The hotel is very tiny, very overdecorated and very friendly.

This post I just want to give some impressions of the city. Later I will post pictures of the beautiful buildings which are a joy.
First, cats are everywhere, even some inside the Aya Sophia. Very few look mangy or ill cared for. An awful lot look pregnant.

My rugs, would you like to buy?

A snooze in the pansies at the palace
I live at the Archaeological Museum

So do I.

Is this my best side?

Aya Sophia is a nice address to raise a family

Prisoner. Help!

The cats seem to like to pose, especially the prisoner on the right, but the grey tabby  ran over the road and sat against the carpet background to have her picture taken. The two above were in the Aya Sophia. And the gorgeous Egyptian cat was in the Archeological Museum.
It is Spring, and tulip time in Turkey, home of tulips. The roads are bordered with tulips, the parks have lovely displays and the gardens of Topkapi Palace are in glorious bloom.

tulipsc  tulipsd 

Magnolia soulangea

We are frequently struck by the sheer number of people selling things right on the street, from the apparently hundreds of chestnut and simit sellers to the ubiquitous carpet salesmen who are often both charming and a nuisance. A selection here.

Pomegranate juice. He does look rather worried in this shot.simmitman
A simit van and the antique tram at Taksim Square

Chestnut seller, one of hundreds it appears
Our local shoe shine man
Brushes and brooms and a huge smile for the camera

Moving those carpets takes manpower
    Flag seller           
Guard at Dolmabahce Palace

Posing for the camera, an obliging doner kebab man

The most persistent and charming carpet salesman

Future episodes will look at the gorgeous buildings of this huge city, amazing treasures, the multiple types of food and the contents of the bazaars.

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