Photos from the Istanbul trip Spring 2007
This year I was lucky enough to be one of the 2 teachers to go with our graduating class to Istanbul for a week! Here is a litte journal of our adventures with some photos. I had borrowed a camera from my dad and it turned out to be of not too good quality, and I didn't really become friends with it over the week, so many photos came out bad. But at least some were salvaged, so I hope you get some idea about how fantastic our trip was!
After a very early morning we all gathered at the train station in Stockholm and made our way to Arlanda and checked in. We had surprisingly few problems throughout all of this, and boarded the plane without any problems, no one had overslept and everyone, including the teachers, were in their best travelling mode! At the airport in Istanbul we encountered our first little problem, our guide had abandoned us since the plane was delayed, so in the end we took taxies to our hotel, checked in and went out to get some food.
This is the first view we encountered on our way to the nearest food place:
By now, my heart was already beating faster, I fell completely in love with this strange and different city!
Following day we visited the Grand Basaar, difficult to take piccies in there. Shopping is tiresome in the long run, so we went for a little walk.
And checked out a beautiful mosque on our way down to the harbour. It was difficult taking photographs inside, as flash of course was banned. Not that it would have helped if it weren't, you would have needed a floodlight for those gigantic buildings!
Following day we took the ferry up the Golden Horn and walked up along the old city wall up to a small christian church that had some of the most beautiful mosaic work in the world. The walk was long and exhausting in the hot sun, but the scenery was a pleasant reward!
This part of Istanbul is on the far western side of the old town european side, quite far up the Golden Horn. The streets were interesting, and everywhere we were greeted with welcoming smiles.
Just seeing it, made it obvious why this wall had played such an important role in defending the city!
Here is the church. During a period it was turned in to a mosque, and the minarets are preserved. Most of the interior is extraordinarily well preserved and we spent a long time walking from image to image discussing what we saw. Did not get any really good shots in there, but if you ever go to Istanbul, this little gem is well worth a visit!
After this, the 2 teachers left the youngsters to climb the wall alone. Age does make a difference sometimes... Instead we wandered down the streets towards the Golden Horn through small allys and streets.
Most buildings were in good shape, but there were exceptions...
After a beautiful walk we found the quay.
We took the ferry as far west as we could up the Golden Horn and got a beautiful view of the far end of the city. This, I think was a cematery, if my memory serves me right...?
The following day we took a boat trip up the Bosphorus. The ferry docked at every little place along both the Asian and the European coastline and we saw the beautiful estates along the trip up towards the Black Sea. And at last, we saw it! That was a big moment, I have always wanted to see the Black Sea! No piccies though... sorry!
This is on the Asian coast, looking south.
And looking across to Europe.
We walked up towards a fort that supposedly offered a splendid view of both the Bosphorus and the Black Sea. Very steap hill, and very tired feet, and cutting time a little too short made the teachers too late for that particular view, we gave up about half ways. We did get a fantastic view of the Bosphorus though!
Following day we visited the Blue Mosque and the Basilica Cistern. Photographic conditions weren't great though, instead I offer some shots of Hagia Sofia that we visited the day after!
This fella had enormous faith!
That day we also visited the Topkapi Palace. We spent most of the day there I think, but still didn't see all of it. If I ever come back, I think I'll have to devote a few days just for that!
Following piccies are details from the Harem.
On this track, the Sultan could ride in with his horse. The stones in the track was to keep the horse from slipping.
On his way he could admire himself in the double mirrors...
before he dismounted the horse where his mother lived:
This is one of the resting areas for all the women living here.
Hot and cold running water! More luxury for them a few hundred years ago than I had growing up in the backyards of Gothenburg!
This is called the Golden Cage, where the heirs were kept safe and in as much comfort as possible to keep them from accessing their throne ahead of time...
After exploring, we had a coffee at the palace café. The view was splendid! On the other side you see the Asian coastline.
That would have concluded the trip had it not been for the sas strike. Because of that, Marika and I found ourself stranded in Budapest for a day and we decided to make the most of it!
Help! My memory has gone blank! I can't remember who this dude was! Composer, but who was it...?
This church in the city center was very interesting, and it allowed us to go up and see the city from a spectacular hight!
Houses along the streets were all extremely well kept.
Marika in front of one of the bridges crossing the Danube.
There were intersting sculptures everywhere in Budapest! This one captured my interest the most:
Strangely, we were quite tired after this field day and quite happy to return home. But the memories of this trip lingers, and I long to go back!