Random Street Photos
Friendly kid =)
Street Food (soaked in oil and sugar syrup).
This street food could be found in India also.
My favourite - freshly squeezed orange and pomegranate juice.
Looks like a European City
Wiki: "The Grand Bazaar (Turkish: Kapalıçarşı, meaning ‘Covered Bazaar’; also Büyük Çarşı, meaning ‘Grand Bazaar’) in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 3,000 shops  which attract between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily. In 2014, it is listed No.1 among world's most-visited tourist attractions with 91,250,000 annual visitors."
I have watched many travel shows featuring the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul, which is world famous. Unfortunately, it is such a let down, and I was disappointed. It is catered mainly for tourists, selling touristy souvenirs. Too orderly as well, I was expecting it to be more vibrant and energy with more hustle and bustle. It is lacking the authenticity of an ancient bazaar.
Wiki: "The Spice Bazaar (Turkish: Mısır Çarşısı, meaning Egyptian Bazaar) in Istanbul, Turkey is one of the largest bazaarsin the city. Located in the Eminönü quarter of the Fatih district, it is the most famous covered shopping complex after the Grand Bazaar.
There are several documents suggesting the name of the bazaar was first "New Bazaar". The building was endowed to the foundation of the New Mosque, and got its name "Egyptian Bazaar" (Turkish: Mısır Çarşısı) because it was built with the revenues from the Ottoman eyalet of Egypt in 1660. The word mısır has a double meaning in Turkish: "Egypt" and "maize". This is why sometimes the name is wrongly translated as "Corn Bazaar". The bazaar was (and still is) the center for spice trade in Istanbul, but in the last years more and more shops of other type are replacing the spice shops."
Even though the Spice Bazaar is also catering for tourists, I found more locals shopping here. It is really more interesting and authentic than the Grand Bazaar. The smell, the noise and crowd makes it more interesting. =)
More Locals in the Spice Bazaar
Wiki:" The Bosphorus (//) or Bosporus (//; Ancient Greek: Βόσπορος, Bósporos; Turkish: Boğaziçi) is a straitthat forms part of the boundary between Europe and Asia. The Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles strait to the southwest together form the Turkish Straits. The world's narrowest strait used for international navigation, the Bosporus connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara (which is connected by the Dardanelles to the Aegean Sea, and thereby to the Mediterranean Sea.)"
Boats selling Fish Tapas (aka Fish Sandwich)
I did not enjoy the grill fish tapas, over-rated (too oily, too many bones, tasteless). Macdonald's Fish Burger taste so much better in comparison.
European Side of Istanbul (with 2 big mosques)
The bridge spanning across the Europe and Asia Continent.
Spotted Dolphins swimming in the Bosphorus.
What a pleasant surprise! =)
Enjoying the view, sea breeze and the company of the sea gulls.
I felt free, just like a bird.
I fed the seagulls with bananas, and the technique is throwing the banana up into the air (and not towards the sea), so that the seagulls have enough reaction time to catch the food. It's fun!
Wiki:"The Süleymaniye Mosque (Turkish: Süleymaniye Camii, Turkish pronunciation: [sylejˈmaːnije]) is an Ottoman imperial mosque located on the Third Hill of Istanbul, Turkey. It is the largest mosque in the city, and one of the best-known sights of Istanbul.
The Süleymaniye Mosque, built on the order of Sultan Süleyman (Süleyman the Magnificent), "was fortunate to be able to draw on the talents of the architectural genius ofMimar Sinan" (481 Traditions and Encounters: Brief Global History). The construction work began in 1550 and the mosque was finished in 1558.
This "vast religious complex called the Süleymaniye...blended Islamic and Byzantine architectural elements. It combines tall, slender minarets with large domed buildings supported by half domes in the style of the Byzantine church Hagia Sophia (which the Ottomans converted into the mosque of Aya Sofya)" (481 Traditions and Encounters: Brief Global History)."
Beautiful piece of Art
Grand and Beautiful. Very Symmetrical.
Huge Hall within the Mosque.
Really love the circular lights hanging down. So beautiful!
Lying down and taking a nap on the green outside the mosque.
(non-muslin gotta vacate the mosque during prayer time)
Good weather, good view and listening to the calling for prayers.
It was so relaxing and peaceful!
Washing up before entering the mosque for prayers.
View of Galata from the mosque
Galata opposite, Bosphorus Canal and Asia Continent on the right.
Wiki: "The whirling dance or Sufi whirling that is proverbially associated with dervishes is best known in the West by the practices (performances) of the Mevlevi order in Turkey, and is part of a formal ceremony known as the Sema. It is, however, also practiced by other orders. The Sema is only one of the many Sufi ceremonies performed to try to reach religious ecstasy (majdhb, fana). The name Mevlevi comes from the Persian poet Rumi, who was a dervish himself. This practice, though not intended as entertainment, has become a tourist attraction in Turkey.
The Mawlaw'īyya / Mevlevi Order or (Turkish: Mevlevilik or Mevleviyye, Persian: طریقت مولویه) is a Sufi order founded in Konya (then capital of the Anatolian Seljuk Sultanate) by the followers of Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi-Rumi, a 13th-century Persian poet, Islamic jurist, and theologian. They are also known as the Whirling Dervishes due to their famous practice of whirling as a form of dhikr (remembrance of God). Dervish is a common term for an initiate of the Sufi path; the whirling is part of the formal Sama ceremony and the participants are properly known as semazen-s."
Taken at Hodjapasha Dance Theater.
Photography is not allowed (be'cos it is a religious ceremony), but you can see the video here:
We paid 60 Lira (S$30, US$24) for 1 hour performance, quite expensive.
Will pay it for the experience, and it is quite graceful.