A quick nap gave easy shot of energy for the afternoon activity. I made a last minute change to our schedule, the Bosphorus cruise, instead of going to Taksim the city centre. So off we went to Sultanahmet tram, only 5 minutes walking distance from our hotel. Glad that we stayed in Sultanahmet area, very touristic spot tho..but I like the scenery in here. The Blue mosque was seen in every corner (because it was so huge), and just in front of it was the Hagia Sophia. So yes, we passed thru this iconic structures every day.
But Istanbul doesn't have something like the oyster card. Yes they do have pre buy card but it doesn't make any differences, talking about discount for public tranportation cost. We had to buy the token for each ride - 2 TL (Turkish Lira = RM4). Expensive. It would be better if they have unlimited ride public card. I don't see it is practical to buy token for every time we want to hop on the tram.
We hop on the tram from Sultanahmet station to Eminonu station, only 3 stations away passed by Sirkeci and Gulhan. The Eminonu station was quite a crowd on that day with the local people and tourists of coz. Probably it was after office hour and this area was much more alive at night, I guess.
Underground crossing from Eminonu station to the dock.
The Galata bridge, spot many restaurants under the bridge.
The Yeni Camii (known as New Mosque) as seen from the dock, from 19th century. The construction was ordered by Safiye Sultan ( the wife of sultan) hope to extend the sphere of Islamic influence because the Eminonu district was then predominantly Jewish population.
Me with New mosque at the background, hari last baru we all dapat solat di masjid ni. Alhamdulillah , sepanjang berada di Istanbul dapat solat 5 masjid =)
Because it was sudden change of plan, agak kelam juga to decide the cruise.. several companies operate Bosphorus cruise. I know one public cruise at Sehir Hatlari dock (suppose cheaper) but the last departure was at 2:30 PM. Otherwise bolehlah naik but you will need to stay at the other part of Istanbul - not a a return journey. No, cancel. It was 5:30 PM already and we walked to the left from Galata bridge to the Turyol dock. A private owner Turyol operates more frequent and brings back to Galata bridge after 1.5 hour cruise. It costs 12TL, the sign was clear and straightforward.
My photo of the day! Superb.
This is Balik Ekmek (fish bread) boats bobbing in the water. Very nice, don't they? We had the fish bread later here after the cruise, and became our favorite that we returened here on the last day haha
The Bophorus cruise gave us impressive sight (and a romantic moment too) along the shore. Palaces, mosques, important monuments, bridges, seaside restaurant, Marmara sea and the Black sea also came to picture. It was a moment to remember, truly a highlight for our Istanbul trip. We were accompanied with a commentary onboard ( I thought we'll be given a personal audio set) but we could hardly hear the speaker.
Istanbul has mosque in every 200 meters.
Back to Galata bridge.
Aariz was asleep during the cruise, only woke up masa makan =)
Now I want to show you two local Turkish food you must eat in Istanbul..hehe ; Balik Ekmek (grilled fish sandwich) and Lokma (deep fried donut)
The grilled fish sandwich I was talking about, Balik Ekmek sedap sangat! Masih teringat
Another street food to celebrate in Istanbul is Lokma, a Turkish deep fried donut..very sugary, with pistachio on top.
Maghrib. I can't tell, the mosques are all look the same. Cuma besar atau kecil saja. But I guess they were all huge. As seen Suleymaniye camii (Sulayman mosque) was located high up on the third hill of Istanbul. Once was an imperial mosque during Ottoman era. The mosque was built on the order from Sultan Suleyman the magnificient, which only took 8 years of construction (1550-1558). It references the Dome Of Rock in Jurusalem, blended Islamic and Byzantine architectural elements.
So we asked a local man how and what's the easier route to make the way? The man looked at our stroller and, "Take the taxi at the next block, will cost you 15TL, and you can walk down back. Good advice." He ended with smile. Erk, ok we opted to push the stroller. Jauh dan tercungap juga la kan. Bukan selalu =) I still remember it was a dark hilly road..kadang2 kereta turun naik. Ya Allah memang lasak sungguhlah stroller ni kan - Sweet Cherry, made in Malaysia is highly recommended!
Alhamdulillah selamat sampai masjid, berselisih dengan beberapa tourist mat salleh..they were all amazed by the mosque (in fact they like to step in Istanbul mosques) Inshaa Allah moga diberikan hidayah.
Amazed by what's infront of him.
Suleymaniye camii was our first mosque. Alhamdulillah. Until next entry.
Suleyman mosque, picture google.