Only two days in Istanbul – what to do? The more I saw of the city the more I wished we were going to spend a month there. But I made the most of the two days we had. Luckily I’d seen most of the major tourist sites on our first visit. The weather was gorgeous and tempted me out for a walk to Sultanahmet.
So, down the hill I went and crossed Galata Bridge, watching the fishermen pull my lunch from the Golden Horn.
Moseyed through the Spice Bazaar. The heady smells, gorgeous pyramids of spices and layers of baklava were enticing.
Wondered along the winding roads to find myself at Topkapi Palace. The queue wasn’t long and it was worth the visit to see how the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire lived. There were 10 kitchens, one dedicated entirely to desserts and sweet treats. Sounds like heaven to me!
The blue tiles of the pavilions are gorgeous, the courtyards peaceful and the museum artefacts impressive (especially the world’s fifth largest diamond and all the swords and daggers).
I visited the harem but the stories I read before my visit were more interesting than what I got to see. The areas are limited (I believe due to restoration work) so it might be worth going back when I next go to Istanbul.
A stroll back along the bridge, with a fish sandwich in hand, freshly caught and cooked on a boat, freshly squeezed orange juice from a man with a cart at the end of the street and my day was complete.
An evening spent watching the boats along the Bosphorous in the setting sun, the lights of Galata, the mosques across Istanbul, from the roof garden of the hotel added to the romance of being in Istanbul.
Istanbul, with your ornate architecture, spicey smells and baklava, I hope it’s no the last I see of you.