We got up early, had breakfast on the roof and hit the road. We bought our Istanbul cards the previous day and decided to use them.
Because of the Efes-factor, we decided to walk to the Galata bridge to work off the effect of all the beer we drank the previous day.
I love walking in Istanbul. I talk to everybody. Try and sell me a carpet and 10 mintes later we'll talk about husbands/wives/children/dogs and the cats of Istanbul.
Got on the tram at Eminonu and got off at Kabatas. Found the bus to Ortakoy. A lovely, sunny day.
Happy Harry bought me one of those flowery round things for my hair. I felt 16 years old. We couldn't go to the mosque as it was being renovated.
It doesn't matter where we go in the world, there is always some building being renovated or cleaned. I am becoming an expert on scaffolding. In Holland, it was the palace on Dam Square, in Prague it was the Charles Bridge, in Paris is was the Notre Dame, in Vienna it was St Stephans. I think it is some kind of conspiracy to force me to go back and see the places without scaffolding!
Back to Ortakoy. We ate kumper at some place. It was very nice, but got overcharged by 30TL. The waiter could't understand English all of a sudden, but it was fine. Our charity for the day.
We spent a lovely day in Ortakoy. It was so nice to just sit and watch all the people, stepping out with their loved ones, dressed in their Sunday best. So many people, so many stories.
Late afternoon, we walked to the bus stop and took a bus to Taksim Square. Walked down Istiklal with half of Istanbul. A sea of people.
Music everywhere. Saw some Peruvian musicians dressed in feathers, listened to an opera singer, then the band from the Fire Brigade (I think they were firemen, all dressed in red suites), some lonely cowboy trying his best and a few others. So much talent right next to so little talent!
Stopped at a restaurant close to the Galata Tower for some lovely food and a couple of Efes.
Had a long conversation with the waiter, a beautiful man with the longest eyelashes and wonderful stories to tell. Even Happy Harry was fascinated. By the stories, not the eyelashes!
We walked back by a different route. Walked down narrow streets and some stairs behind the Galata Tower. Stopped on the Galata Bridge and watched the fishermen. Do they ever go home?
Walked all the way to Sultanahmet and sat on a bench on the square, watching the birds flying above the roof of Hagia Sofia. Birds/ maybe they were bats.
And always the sound of the prayer coming from the mosques. Haunting and beautiful.
What a day.