Category Archives: Istanbul-2015

Galata bridge

Day 21 – Galata Bridge, Istanbul, Turkey

April 2015

The Galata bridge spans the Golden Horn in Istanbul. At one end is the Karakoy tram stop which we reached after coming down from the Galata tower and the other side is the Eminonu tram stop. The locals consider the bridge as the hub of Istanbul. It is an experience walking across the bridge. You’ll find numerous locals fishing using rods atop of the bridge and in the lower deck restaurants stretch from end-to-end.

Galata bridge

Restaurants at lower deck of Galata bridge.

Galata bridge

Locals fishing atop of the Galata bridge.

Galata bridge

Catch for the day is sold to pedestrians.

Walking down from Karakoy tram stop to the bridge, on your right you’ll find a small market naturally most selling fishes and also vegetables. Convenient stop for locals to shop before going home. There are food stalls nearby the market just by the Bosphorus bank where you can order fresh sea food dishes and dine by a ferry berth next to you.

Galata bridge

Fresh fish at the market.

Galata bridge

Pick you choice of fish.

Galata bridge

Vegetables are also sold here.

Galata bridge

Not in the mood to cook ? Have your meal in one of the open air food stalls just beside the market.

Galata bridge

Fancy having your meal under the umbrella next to a ferry?

Making your way from Karakoy to Eminonu, the Galata tower will be towards your back and in front, you’ll get to view the Rustem Pasa mosque and of-course ferries plying under the bridge.

Galata bridge

Galata tower towards your back.

Galata bridge

To your front, Rustem Pasa mosque.

Galata bridge

Across is the Ataturk bridge.

Towards the end of the Galata bridge before reaching the Eminonu tram stop, there’s a small square where people get off their ferry, bus, tram, having a meal on the floating restaurants, push carts selling Simit, a circular bread with sesame seeds and a hive of other activities. Busy, busy, busy. Ahh, the sight, smell, hustle and bustle of Istanbul.

Galata bridge

The pier on Eminonu’s side.

Galata bridge

Hive of activities.

Grand Bazaar

Day 21 – Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey

April 2015

Continuing our exploration of Istanbul on foot, from the Galata bridge we cross over to the Spice Market just in-front. As we have already been to the Spice Bazaar on previous visits, there is nothing to look-see or buy anything. For varieties and numbers of stores, Spice Bazaar is no where compared to the Grand Bazaar. However, prices is a little cheaper here.

We entered the Spice Bazaar through the main entrance and walked straight to the exit at the other end and kept on walking until we reached Grand Bazaar. We have not done this before so we took this opportunity to do so.

Exploring Istanbul

This will be a 2.7 km walk from Galata bridge to our hotel.

Spice Bazaar

Main entrance of Spice Bazaar.

Spice Bazaar

Inside Spice Bazaar.

Spice Bazaar

We walk straight to the end and exit there. Spice Bazaar is ‘L’ shaped, so at the workers in white coat, you can turn left to the other section.

All we can say is from Spice Bazaar to Grand Bazaar it is stores after stores selling household products from hardware to fabrics with many small cafe for you to rest and have a bite or drink. This part of the walk is a gradual uphill as opposed to downhill at Taksim we visited earlier today.

Grand Bazaar

The streets behind Spice Bazaar leading to Grand Bazaar.

Grand Bazaar

Grand Bazaar

Grand Bazaar

Grand Bazaar

Grand Bazaar

With regards to Grand Bazaar, there’s 1000’s of stores inside and again as we have visited it a couple of times before, we just walk through at a slower pace just to take in at what we might have probably missed before. Again, we came out without buying anything.

Grand Bazaar

Stores outside Grand Bazaar.

Grand Bazaar

Stores inside Grand Bazaar.

Grand Bazaar

Our favorite exit point at Grand Bazaar, Gate 1. Once we find this gate, we know how to get back to our hotel. Cemberlitas tram stop is 50 m away. Anyway, our hotel is just 7 minutes walk from here.

Basilica Cistern

Day 22 – Basilica Cistern, Istanbul, Turkey

Start of the day, we visited Basilica Cistern which is a short walk from our hotel. This cistern is an underground chamber approximately 9,800 square metres in area and despite only a few feet of water lining the bottom nowadays it is capable of holding 80,000 cubic metres of water. The domed ceiling is supported by 336 marble columns, each 9 metres high, arranged in 12 rows of 28 columns. Water was delivered to the cistern via a 20km aqueducts from a reservoir near the Black Sea. The entry fee in April 2015 was ₺20.

Basilica Cistern

Inside Basilica Cistern.

Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern

One of the two Medusa heads.

Basilica Cistern

No one knows how these Medusa heads become pedestals for the pillars.

Basilica Cistern

Carps guarding coins in the pool.

Basilica Cistern

Short history of the Basilica Cistern.