Showing posts with label Istanbul autumn 2014. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Istanbul autumn 2014. Show all posts

Monday, 24 November 2014

Part 2 recap - day 2,3 and 4

We start off day 2 next to the Marmara Sea. There's no problem in getting a good breakfast today since I'm comfortably cocooned at the Tashkonak

1st day recap - fussy pot hunt for breakfast

We arrived hours before check in time. So out we went to hunt for food.

Backyard of Karakoy

We got off the tram and went across the road into Karakoy

Istanbul mini buses

Saw them for the first time while crossing the road towards the Seyidoglu Baklava building near the Mihrimah Mosque.
Reminds me so much of those crazy Bas Mini Wilayah drivers back in the old days.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Ottoman era houses

Istanbul is a treasure trove of crumbling and refurbished Ottoman era houses. 

Catdog heaven in Istanbul

Very nonchalant and unbothered, this is the look I've gotten from cats here in general , when I point my phone in their face. 
Cool or annoyed ? Heh far I've not gotten clawed.

Gross supermarket sells Coca-Cola in 4 PET sizes

Don't laugh at the name lol, we found some really nice honey, bread and fruits in here plus an eyeopening array of Coca-Cola PET bottles

Saturday, 22 November 2014

" I am a gypsy and I come from Romania "

Pedestrian traffic almost came to a standstill because of this  man. People whipped out their mobiles and started recording him. Whatever he was singing, no one understood, but pride in one's art is something that makes us human beings stop in our tracks if for a while.
Exactly what these corporate figures were doing on the sidewalk. No doubt more successful than this one legged man, nevertheless he found a bunch of admirers in them.
" I am a gypsy and I come from Romania "
 he declared openly. An indomitable spirit that made them smile. 

Street performers on Istiklal Avenue

Where the red tram ends is where one can come across small pockets of street performers. I don't know what their arrangement is but on my first trip there was even a black guy from the US rapping in front of a truly appreciative Turkish audience.
But my jaw still dropped because I never expected to see Native Indians over on this part of the world !

Friday, 21 November 2014

The forbidden candy

I would not even have noticed this candy seller 
if not for one Japanese girl. She was posing with him and instructing her boyfie to snap them together quick. 
Now, what was it she saw in him. Either his candy is really good or .....let's find out.
I tell him I want one and hold my finger up like Rosmah heh heh. 

Burger King, Istiklal Av - crack the code to use the toilet

Yes, another item struck off my bucket list. Have finally used The Tünel Underground funicular tram to get to the other end of Istiklal Avenue. Opened in 1875, and in operation for 139 years, I'm a little bit dissapointed that the tram itself is not like the wooden marvel that is Line A found in Buenos Aires.
Still, it was a quick and easy ride, with almost no crowd. Just take the ride down and take more pictures at the nostalgic ticket counter in Karakoy.

Seagulls stalk the fishmonger

Come see for yourself, these two kept peering down into his stall as if they were some mascot or something to that effect

Sinop Balik Evi

On my last trip I tried deep fried anchovies near the Spice Market , this time I'm having them grilled and they're definitely more delicious especially with Muammer Usta in the kitchen. 

Thursday, 20 November 2014

DeFacto & LC Waikiki - a plus size shopping haven

Stumbled upon DeFacto while on my way to Siirt Seref.
Although I did not need another jacket, the weather  necessitated this particular purchase.
And just like LC Waikiki, those beyond XL can find a decently fashionable fit without feeling discriminated against other smaller forms.

Siirt Seref - Aryan with Lamb Buryan after dark

Not even a slight drizzle could keep me away from Siirt Seref. 
I did not walk all the way from Seyidoglu on a full stomach just to be turned off into coming. Along the way, I found a great jacket at De Facto, changed some Euros at one of the most bloodsucking moneychangers whose rate was worse than the airport, made a little girl smile , bumped into a family in despair who sought refuge at a small camii, and came across an old man waving what I think was a Kurdish flag. By the time we reach the Valens Aqueduct, it is around 5:30 pm. The row of cay sippers are nowhere to be found .

Treated like a VIP at Seyidoglu

Done visiting the Chora Church, we headed back out towards Fatih. The sky was threatening to pour and so we ran in here, partly looking for refuge yet at the same time wondering if we could find a bite since silly me misinterpreted the word Pasta for noodles.

Cay under the trees - Kariye Pembe Kosk Cafe & Restaurant

You can't miss this cafe as it's situated just across the entrance to the Chora Church. If elsewhere a glass of Cay or Turkish tea costs 1 Lira, well , one has to cough up 2.50 Lira for one unrefillable cuppa here .

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Chora Church aka Kariye Müzesi

Was determined to hunt down the Chora Church this time round. The first landmark you will have to look out for is this mosque, The Mihrimah mosque , designed by Sinan the Architect , and built especially for Suleiman the Magnificent's favourite daughter.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Second time staying at The Tashkonak

At a time when there are hundreds of hotels out there in Istanbul for me to choose from and I end up here a second time, speaks volumes for this charming little hotel.
Number one, they have staff that can speak in English, secondly, every now and then you see the bosses happily walking around, actually so glad to give you a little piece of the grand old Istanbul , third I feel absolutely safe here, fourth ..good wifi connection ( how do you think I'm getting this out to you on location, right now ?)  and last but not least of course , while the price is still affordable, this hotel serves one of the best Turkish breakfast spread on this side of Istanbul. Extremely good deal if you ask me , especially if you like to start off your day well fed .
Located in a cobblestone neighbourhood area that looks like a little hamlet, with a small mosque built wayback in 1553, yes you read right, the year 1553 ,in the front, the hotel lobby has undergone such a remarkable transformation that I swear this picture below which I took, just as the sun was shining in from the door, is using no filter whatsoever. Just magical don't you think ? 

Breakfast at Tashkonak Hotel

Tashkonak Hotel's breakfast room has undergone not only a relocation but also a breathtaking makeover.This area used to be the garden where guests would mingle in the evening.