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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars


Turkey - 1 October, 2002



Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Istanbul (Hyatt Regency Hotel) N41º02.449' E028º59.345' 83 meters .
-  Spice Market . . . .
-  Rusten Pasa Camii Mosque . . . .
-  Süleymaniye Mosque . . . .
-  Museum of Islamic Art . . . .
Finish Istanbul (Hyatt Regency Hotel) N41º02.449' E028º59.345' 83 meters


Total Leg 3:

4,807 km

Total Leg 2:

2,153 km

Total Leg 1:

3,018 km

Grand Total:

9,978 km


Weather: Mostly cloudy, occasional drizzle, occasional sun, and cool.



Turkey02_CD27_21_web.jpg (85487 bytes)

It is another relaxing start to sightseeing.  Paolo joins us at the hotel and then we head into the old town just before noon, getting out at the Spice Market.  This is one of the oldest markets in Istanbul and, as it's name implies, sells spices.  This was much more interesting than the grand bazaar that we went to yesterday.  The stuff here seemed more authentic and there seemed to be locals shopping here.


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We checked out all the stalls selling the colorful (and aromatic) spices and the stacks of different types of Turkish delights.  The best part were the free samples that Lars liberally tried out.  Despite all the free samples, we still had a quick bite to eat while we were here.


Just outside the Spice Market we found the Ali Muhiddin Haci Bekir shop.  It has been around since 1777 and is supposedly the oldest shop producing Turkish delights.  Anyway, we picked up a few boxes to take back with us.  We then headed in search of the Rusten Pasa Camii Mosque.  It appears on the Lonely Planet map, but it is not easy to find in the narrow, winding lanes.  We make our way through the alleys and after asking a few people along the way, we eventually find the entrance.  We wander up the narrow stairs to the main door.  After taking off our shoes, we proceed inside to check it out.  It is actually one of the nicer mosques that we have seen in Istanbul.  It is smaller, but much more elegant.


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From there we go in search of the Süleymaniye Mosque.  Again, it appears easy to find on the map, but involves some searching, back tracking and asking for help as we make our way through the winding alleys.  It is always more fun to walk the back streets.  Along the way, Lars spots some food vendors and takes a few breaks to sample the local food - yummy.


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In the end we are successful in finding the mosque - we were able to spot glimpses of the minarets every once in a while and that helped us navigate our way there.  Once again we need to wait a short while until prayers end (we seem to always arrive as prayers are ongoing).  We have a very nice visit.  The interior is simple, but very nice.  As usual, the interior is a huge space with a dome high up above.  We sit down and enjoy the architect.


From the mosque, we we make our way back through the small lanes to the old town to go and visit the Museum of Islamic Arts.  It is a small museum, but it does have an interesting and varied collection.  The antique carpet collection is also very impressive.  After seeing all the museum had to offer, we wandered the streets for a while before heading back to Paolo's hostel for a short rest before heading out for dinner.


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Dinner is at a restaurant that has a view over the mosques in the old city.  We wanted to sit on the roof, but it is closed - winter schedule.  We would have been happy to brave the cold, but ...  The food is very good, but the highlight of the dinner is the after dinner apple tea and sheesha pipe.  We retired to the upstairs room which is furnished with cushions and low tables.  We sit back, relax, sip our apple tea and take turns puffing on the sheesha pipe.


After dinner we make our way back to the hostel, say good bye to Lotta (the driver) and then head back to our hotel for an early night.


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