Istanbul, Turkey (Two) Week 118 July 5th 2013
Feeling lazy after all the km, walking, and problem solving of the last few days we decided on another day beside the noisy main road.

And a short walk up the hill.

Its difficult to avoid the Blue Mosque.

We now know there are tiles from Iznik involved. And we also know of a camping spot next to the lake at Iznik.

We did find a different angle for the Hagia Sophia Museum.

Just a guess that over time the massive stonework needed to hold the roof up has been refined in later mosques.

Apparently the mortar used in the original walls was laid too thickly and not allowed to cure before adding the next layer of brick or stone.

Obviously the bricklayer not the architect was at fault for resulting dome collapses.

And a chance encounter with the Fountain of Sultan Ahmed III (1703 - 30).

Built in 1728, during the Tulip Period, to a design of the Sultan's and including a few lines of his poetry.

Its outside the Topkapi Palace.

The outer gate to the palace.

Built over many years the palace is relatively austere.

Just inside the wall is the Hagia Eirene Museum.



It was a church, initially built on a former temple about 330 AD and rebuilt a few times.

The only surviving Byzantine Church not converted to a mosque after the 1453 conquest of Constantinople. 

We'd hoped for a walk around the green area atop the hill around the palace. Sadly "no entry".

We walked as far as the next entrance to the palace and turned back.

The most distinctive part of the walk was the myriad of adverts for "priviliged access" to several museums for a collective fee. A new form of visual pollution and tourist torture.

We'd planned on avoiding Istanbul, as we have most major cities. Being here we thought twice about looking in the museums but they weren't sufficiently compelling. And since we hadn't planned to be here we haven't done the research ... and no internet!

We opted for the interesting looking Handicraft Center.

A place with artists in residence, a different standard of work, and not all the stock displayed at the same time.

Importantly, no attempts at pressure selling.

This was the embroidery room.  

Followed by calligraphy.
And fabric painting.
Then the ceramics.

The kiln was in the corner.

Then a last look at the restored building.
Through the Arasta Bazaar.

To avoid the pedestrian unfriendly traffic.

We purchased some apple tea.

Loose is cheaper than the tourist packages. 

I'm writing the blog as we wait for it to stew.

Downhill again.

There's a small shop opposite this hotel where we bought yet more bread.

Then home for a rest.

And a study of the map of Georgia kindly donated to us by a Dutch couple camped a few motorhomes along.

Tomorrow we'll leave Istanbul for a quieter place, probably Iznik, and return to pick up passports in a week (on Friday 12th).

Iznik and Gol Iznik, Turkey Week 119 July 6th - 10th 2013

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