Monday, April 4, 2016

April winds

'En avril, ne te découvre pas d'un fil!' Meaning that you shouldn't shed you warm clothes in april for fear of the chill that still hangs in the air!
What to do on a Saturday in Istanbul? The weather flipped back to winter again. I started with a second visit to Hagia Sophia. Photos don't do it justice.

This is the ramp leading to the Empress gallery

Taken on tip toes from a window in the Hagia Sophia - that's the Blue Mosque. I love this photo

This is the Hagia Sofia

Next a trip over the bridge on the tram and a wald past the Dolmabache Palace to Yildiz Park and a guided tour of the opulent Yildiz Palace where Ataturk had an office and more recently there was a state function for then President Clinton.

Hotel by the Bosphorus where I'm not staying this time

Gates to Yildiz Park

Miles of tulips 

Even the road cones are nice
More walking, down the hill again to Ortokoy, where there was a little outdoor market on the waterfront with a million stalls selling baked potatoes, and a lovely little baroque style mosque over-shadowed by the huge modern Bosphous Bridge.

Next stop Taksim Square. A defiant stroll down Istikial Caddesi, site of the recent bombing. In the historic french cafe where I stopped I read that there can be a footfall of 3 million in the course of a weekend. Half of them were strolling along with me I think.
Here's the Galata Tower that marks the end of the shopping street

The tram was packed

Finally I walked over the Galata Bridge with lines of men fishing, the squeal of seagulls and the smell of fish sandwiches. Spot that Galata Tower on the skyline in the distance.

My hotel is over the road from the station build especially for the Orient Express. I'll leave from there tomorrow to go to Bulgaria on a train that will probably be in somewhat similar state as the station.

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