We had a packed full schedule on day 2, covered all important sites in Sultanahmet ; Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, lunched at Sultanahmet square, solat jamak takdim at the Blue Mosque and went to the new city, Taksim square to Istikhlal street. Walaupun banyak tempat tapi bukanlah rushing sangat..the days are longer in summer =) Because I want to remember the places that we left, I'm not gonna just summarize them in an entry.
Our hotel in Sultanahmet located at Akbiyik neighbourhood, just a few blocks before the main road to the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. Indeed there are many hotels in Sultanahmet, you don't have to worry about the sea view ( like me, kecoh sangat kan nak breakfast rooftop terrace haha), because most of the building has their terrace facing the sea, and of coz either the Blue Mosque or Hagia Sophia (which is facing each other..so you can imagine). Bangunan kat sini kurus2 dan tinggi, buildings are unlikely to have elevator..tapi, alhamdulillah hotel kami tu ada pula. We stayed at Mevlana Boutique Hotel.
Arasta Bazaar also just minutes away..ada lagi beberapa bazaar but they say, Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar wajib pegi. And we went but heh..I'm not a shopaholic (when I travel) so I didn't find it that interesting.
Haah..sampai UK baru menyesal tak beli apa pun haha
the Turkish Bath in front of Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia is an important monument for Byzantine and for Ottoman Empire. Hagia Sophia was an orthodox cathedral from 360 , later a mosque in 1453 by Sultan Mehmet as the desire to convert the city of Constantinople to Islam. But when Kamal Ataturk secularized Turkey, the mosque is now a museum since 1935.
Hagia Sophia also known as AyaSofya or St. Sophia.
Roses are everywhere in Istanbul.
Hagia Sophia was the largest church during its time, was design by a scientist, physicist also matematician. So you can imagine how grand this monument is. The dome, the wall, marble, and every inch of it tells the history from generations. I wish I could put all of my photos here.
Of coz during Ottoman empire, the church features like mosaic were plastered over. Tapi kesan tinggalan tu masih ada,
made of bronze, brought from 2nd century BC temple in Tarsus by Emperor Theopilus
Islamic elements on top of the Dome, but if you can zoom in Virgin Mother and Child also visible.
Allah. Muhammad, dan empat Khalifah
Adalah kepercayaan to place your finger and make a wish..
After covering the ground floor, I wanted to have a full view from the upper gallery. But Aariz was sleeping, tak mungkinlah nak push stroller naik, so I went up alone. ..
to the upper gallery, mungkin ada 8-9 kelok..or 12 if I were to exaggerate..letih!
But the view was superb!
Right here the centre of the upper gallery is The Loge of Empress. It was here the Empress and court-Ladies watch proceedings down below.
Geometric decoration at the upper gallery.
Blue Mosque as seen from Hagia Sophia
After Hagia Sophia we moved to the Basilica Cistern just across the road. As you may know, cistern is a water tank. But this ancient cistern which lie beneath this old city was originally a basilica(public building) contained garden and other structure. Basilica Cistern..hence the name, I guess. Also known as the Sunken Palace (turkish; Yerebatan Sarnici). This ancient cistern provided a water supply/filteration to the near Topkapi Palace.
The cistern was forgotten for centuries but only rediscovered by the Frenchman Peter Gyllius in 1545 when he noticed that people in the neighborhood not only got a hold of water by simply lowering buckets through holes in their basements, but sometimes even caught fish this way. And yes, the fishes are still there, they're local to the cistern. Only coins were thrown from time to time.
dekat tiang ni pun jadi tempat orang make wish..hmm
There are two Medusa heads pillar inside the Basilica Cistern. And this is one of them, the upside down Medusa. The other one tilted to the side. These head remain a mystery, walaupun ada banyak lagenda Medusa ni..ada orang kata untuk 'jaga' tempat ni. But according to historian, this Basilica cistern was built at the same time as Hagia Sophia and some columns (tiang-tiang ni) were taken from Ephesus (same as the bronze door at Hagia Sophia). Chistian Greek did not believe in myth, the Medusa heads were used only as pedestals for the columns
After Basilica Cistern, we moved to Sultanahmet square for lunch, only merely 2 minutes walks. If I could give a word to represent this place, it is 'crowd'. Full of tourists of coz, these monument which only block by block away, the tram and also local trader. But I love this place nevertheless. We are still talking about it =)
Notice my scarf ? It's Tie Rack >.< . Oh, I'm wearing my hand sewn snood hood.