Return to Istanbul, Day 2

The sound of roosters outside our hotel woke me up early, definitely earlier than I would have liked given the fact that I had a hangover from the night before.  After some water and crackers, I was gradually able to pull myself out of bed and we headed out, albeit a little later than I would have liked.  We decided to save Hagia Sophia for another day when we saw the huge line to get in and walked south through to the Blue Mosque which, thankfully, was less crowded.

After the mosque, we went to Arasta Bazaar which featured stores with an array of Turkish ceramics, rugs, pillows, and other goods.  Our next stop was the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum which turned out to be our favorite museum of the trip thanks to its collection of collection of Islamic art and antiquities.  As we left the museum, Adam suggested we check out the cafe which turned out to be one of the nicest cafes I’ve been to.  The tastefully appointed cafe roasts and grinds their coffee beans.  I snapped photos of the cafe as we waited for our coffee.

Finally, our coffee arrived.

Well caffeinated, we walked through the southern portion of Sultanahamet, which was lovely and considerably less crowded then the northern portions of the neighborhood.  We stopped off at a cute bakery and a really nice housewares shop.

Gradually, we made our way to Little Hagia Sophia.

We browsed the wares at a nearby market, had lunch, and stopped off at a cistern.

Then we hopped in a taxi and headed over to Chora Church which had some lovely frescoes.

After the church, we took a taxi to Beyoglu where we walked around for a while, checking out some of its antique shops before we landed at our dinner destination.  Datli Maya definitely had an ambiance you don’t find in New York City, though the owner mentioned they plan on opening an outpost in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Dessert in hand, we headed back to our hotel.

 

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