My third day travelling was a very busy day! I woke up at 6 which was far too early since I slept at midnight. I went for a walk in the morning down the main street near the hostel, just to investigate the area. After passing numerous cats and We went downstairs for breakfast and then got our stuff ready and headed out. We walked to Galata tower and looked over Istanbul. The tower was used to spot fires, and as a watch tower and is the second oldest tower in the world, overall, very cool.
We then headed to the Sultanahmet Mosque, or Blue Mosque in English. The Blue Mosque was built in 7 years between 1609-1616. The Blue Mosque is one of the only mosques with 6 towers and faces the Hagia Sofia, our next stop. However, heading inside the Blue Mosque we were asked to put on robes and cover our knees and shoulders (and me my head). Inside, we looked at the high ceilings, covered in painted patterns, and with chandeliers hanging off low to the ground.
Next we went to Hagia Sofia, an old (300AD) church that was Islamised in 1453 when the Turks invaded Constantinople. The halls are adorned with gold mosaics of Jesus on the walls, most of which have survived. We walked through the corridors, ramps that lead up to a mezzanine, occupied during prayers by the Emperor. This looked out onto the centre of the church/mosque.
We began to feel peckish so headed to get some lunch before going to look at the Obelisk of Theodosius, taken from Egypt and re-erected in 4th century AD, and the Serpent column, a bronze structure relocated from Delphi.
While reading the signs at the Obelisk a man approached me wanting to sell carpets and asked if Ben and I were on our honeymoon (!!!).
We then headed to the Grand Bazaar (Büyük Çarsi) one of the world’s largest covered bazaars and is considered to be one of the world’s first shopping centres, with over 4000 shops. I purchased some small Nazar Bonjuk pendants and admired a bracelet that I later purchased. When we first entered the grand bazaar we had hats on, a pretty uncommon trait in Turkey so we must have stood out as tourists because a young boy ran into me and knocked me a little bit, we suspect he was trying to steal my camera (luckily he didn’t).
We then walked back to the hostel and later went to out to dinner on a street about 10 minutes from our hostel, a big shopping street/mall. We had Gozlemes and a Manti, small meat ravioli in yoghurt. We then walked to the Galata bridge and had tea on the walkway underneath it before heading back to the hostel for bed. The bridge has two walkways underneath it through which people are able to walk, which hangs lower than the upper walkway and road. The implications of this is that all boats must fit under and between the walkways if they wish to pass!
It was a big day and we had walked everywhere (in total over 30km) so bed was well deserved.