This Sunday past not only marked my first week in Istanbul, but it was also my first free day. With no castings, fittings, or shoots, I was free to explore the incredible city that is Istanbul with my lovely roommates.
We decided to walk to the Blue Mosque. Though over an hour’s walk away, we wanted to relish the sights we passed along the journey.
A lot of the pay phones here have animals around them. I loved this dolphin one in particular. Please ignore my pant-sock-shoe combination!
ISTANBUL MODERN MUSEUM
There is so much to see and do and BUY here!
This super friendly guy is making tons of delicious Turkish sweets.
I’m not sure what was better here; watching this vendor play tricks on this kid with his ice cream cone, the adorable boy’s pure joy and laughter, or this cute little red hat!
My gorgeous roommates were patient enough to pose in front of these rugs for me. Here you can find unlimited options of handmade rugs, blankets, scarves, pillow cases, and more.
This beautiful bridge over the Golden Horn is centuries old. Well, this particular one was built in the 1940’s, but for hundreds of years this bridge has been built over and over again, separating the more traditional part of Istanbul to the modern area. The first plans for the first bridge were realized in 1502! Fishermen stand here for hours upon hours, catching fresh fish and selling them to restaurants underneath. The smell was strong but apparently the fresh fish is to die for.
We were so excited to arrive at the Blue Mosque, one of the world’s most famous mosques, more formally known as Sultan Ahmed Mosque. From 1609 to 1616 this mosque was built. It was absolutely stunning.
Unfortunately, we arrived around 6 pm and the mosque was closed for the evening. We were disappointed but still had a wonderful time heading there and beholding its glory from the outside. I am ashamed to say my first thought was “It looks like Disneyworld” but in reality, it was so much more breathtaking. I’m not sure why, but tons of birds were slowly circling the domes and spires. It was incredible. We will definitely be back for an experience inside. Expect a more in depth post about the Blue Mosque to come soon!
I’m not sure what this tower type of thing is, but in the rain, it was beautiful.
Looking for something somewhat authentic and traditional (and yet still affordable) we settle on a place not far from the mosque called Mom’s Restaurant. It looked like this –
And had delights like these.
From Turkish pizzas to chicken lamb, or seafood kebabs, the menu was vast and enticing. We settled on hummus (one of my roommates had been craving it!), yogurt with garlic and mint, lentil soups, baskets of bread, and the best grape leaves I had ever tasted! And fortunately, once converted mentally to the dollar, everything here is really affordable!
As a treat, we were brought this sweet apple tea after the meal. In Turkey, everyone drinks tea out of these glasses. I want to buy a special one for myself as a souvenir!
And of course, no meal is complete without a quick stop at the candy shop!