Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Istanbul Part II

                  View of fishing boats on the walk to St. Savior in Chora

      Man Transporting pretzels

 Mosque on way to Chora Monastery

On the way to Chora you will walk through a working class neighborhood

Chora Monastery

Chora Museum is significant in terms of Byzantine art of mosaic and fresco. This technique was used in many churches and monasteries in Europe after the Chora church.  It is thought to be built before the construction of the city walls in 413. The church was converted into a mosque in the 16th century. In 1958, the mosque was converted into a museum. It is small but considered as one of the 30 must see museums in the world. The mosaics depict the lives and works of Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ. Th most remarkable ones are the Mosaic of Pantocrator and the mosaic of Deecis. The mosaics are simply beautiful!

Mosaic of Pantocrator

Dome covered with mosaics in the esonarthex

Walking away from the museum, to the right on Nester Sok. Arrive at the land walls. Straight ahead is the monumental Gate of Charisius, the portal into the Byzantine Empire and the entryway by which Mehmet the Conqueror arrived into defeated Constantinople. Walking along with the walls to the left are The Theodosian Land Walls. There is a very nice, relaxing tea salon at the top of the hill overlooking the Bosphorus.

The entire walk can be found on
It is Walk Tour 3.

Along the Bosphorus, A celebration of a birth, large gathering with dancing and music. The two ladies waving were very jovial and friendly.

The ladies introduced me to a group of men nearby for photos.

Turkish feast at the party

A Day out of the city
Princes Island

The islands are in the Sea of Marmara. They are twenty kilometers from the historic peninsula. There are nine islands. There is regular transportation to the Princes' Islands by ferry from the Kabatas, Kadikoy and Bostanci. The closest island to Istanbul is the Proti (Kinaliada) which is the smallest of the four inhabited islands. It is followed by the Halki (Burgazada) and then Antigoni (Heybeliada). Lastly the largest island which is Principe (Buyukada). I followed the suggestion of one of the passengers and went to the largest island. 
It is a lovely island without cars. You can tour the island by horse drawn carriage, bike or walking. 
I did not spend much time in the port area, it is crowded and touristy. It was a lovely day, walking away from the port there are several fish restaurants overlooking the harbor. Beautiful view of the harbor! Attentive waiter! The trout was excellent! With all the sightseeing it was a welcome change. With the relaxation, I walked a bit and found a nice bench to nap for a bit. 

Last Day in Istanbul

Turkish Hamami (Hamman) is a must do while in Istanbul. 

I went to the Tarihi Galatasaray Hamami. The full treatment included a shampoo, exfoliation, foam washing and an oil massage.You are provided with towels, pesternal (loin cloth)  and takunya (wooden shoes). You will sit for about 20 minutes to sweat, lying on the heated marble platform for the treatment, followed by a rinsing. You will be lightheaded after the treatment and the wooden shoes are slippery however you will be accompanied by the massager and directed to sit before changing. There were a few women with bikini bathing suits rather than the loin cloth.

Treated to tea by the apartment owner and his family at the tea house in the Gulhane Park
Beautiful setting with a view of the Bosphorus

Enjoyed a glass of wine at the Rooftop of the Marmara hotel
Beautiful view of the city and Sunset  

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