Picture courtesy – amiralpalacehotel.com
Just Before the Dawn
The day begins early and eloquently in Turkey’s greatest city. At day break, the harmonious vibes of the call to prayer (Azaan) spreads out from minarets in every suburb. In memorable Sultanahmet, where the Ottoman sultans tried to exceed one another with extravagant building projects, muazzins at each of the supreme mosque edifices indulge the believers in their enigmatic voices and instigate them to perform prayers (Namaaz). This is also a healthy sign for tourists to arrange something for breakfast.
Turks are very particular about their first meal of the day. Get into the nearby swing of things and stuff your breakfast plate with tasty sheep’s-milk cheddar, olives, juicy tomatoes, fresh cucumbers, home-made jam and naturally heated dry white bread.
Join the morning hustle-bustle and head towards the buzzing ship docks at Eminonu. Among the droves, iPods and Aviator shades with headscarves and beads are the favorite accessories – showcasing the diversity of the 13-million locals. Ships, angling vessels, and compartment boats struggle for space in these swarmed conduits, directed by groups of shrieking seagulls that is the city’s another signature sound.
To get your city course, move on board a Turyol vacationer ship and take Bosphorus journey. A captivating recorded story spreads out as you pass white marble royal residences where the sultans and their wives lived, unconventional timber houses that were summer houses of the Ottoman royals, and great stone strongholds that assumed critical parts in the defeat of the powerful Byzantine Empire.
After your Voyage, you will see the medieval suburbs of Kadikoy, which is famous for its fresh produce market. Stalls spread all over the interconnected streets just opposite the ferry docks exhibit everything from fresh fish to astutely made heaps of spices. Piles of lokum share space with slabs yellowish-orange honeycomb. One of the most famous Turkish restaurants-Ciya Sofrasi is ought not to be missed. Here you will find Antolian Cuisines and are undoubtedly the best lunch option of the mainland.
Now that you have returned to Eminonu, now is the right time to explore the cobbled boulevards of the Old City. In front of the ship docks is the renowned Spice Bazaar – walk straight through and afterwards up to the brilliant Suleymaniye Mosque, which crowns the third of the city’s seven slopes. Built by Suleyman the Magnificent, somewhere around 1550 and 1557, it is largely perceived as the best exemplary of the glory of the Ottoman Empire.
Meandering around the walls of Istanbul University will take you to another vital complex commissioned by an Ottoman sultan – the Kapalı Çarşı (Covered Market), popularly known as the Grand Bazaar. This tangled and disordered shopping center goes back to the times of Mehmet the Conqueror and is home to more than 2000 stores.
Around evening time, advance to Beyoglu, the heart of the city. Begin with a cocktail at an exciting rooftop bar – X Bar and Leb-i Derya are arguably the best of them – and afterward advance to the lanes around Sofyali and Nevizade Sokaks for supper. Enticing choices incorporate Antiochia and Zubeyir Ocakbasi and enjoy the mouth-watering mezes and kebabs.
Picture courtesy – naaristanbul.nl
After your feast, kick onto one of the in vogue superclubs on the Bosphorus or slow down over a glass of tea and some apple-scented tobacco at one of the nargileh (Hookah) bistros at Tophane. This is the place local people come to enjoy the Turkish style of keyif (calm unwinding) – something you actually deserve after an awesome yet soaking up day’s exploration.
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