Decided that today was a good day to get the ferry to the end of the golden horn and then walk back to the hotel.
Headed out for the ferry terminal...got held up trying to cross the road for ages, there are pedestrian crossing lights but they take a long time to change. Arrived at the water front between two different small ferry ports. Couldn't see any obvious name signs so went to the left. That was wrong got there are looked around realized this wasn't the right station and turned around ready to walk to the other port just in time to see the ferry I wanted to catch pulling out. The next one leaves in an hour so rather than sitting there and been harassed by private boat owners about how they can take me instead I walked up to Sulemaniye mosque. It was a winding walk up the hill but was signposted. The mosque is set on large grounds of a former palace. Built in 1550 it is not only a mosque but has several other building around it including tombs, hospital and library. Inside it is well lit and bright due to hundreds of windows and large Chandeliers.
Was only able to have a quick look as I wanted to get back to the port to get the ferry.
Brought my ferry pass token for only 2TL and enjoyed a nice cruise up the golden horn. Just as good I am sure as the 50TL tours the travel agents are trying to sell me. Had a great view over both side of the golden horn and back onto the palace and suleymaniye mosque.
Arrived at the last port around 35 minutes later. Walked to the funicular/ cable car station to get it up the pierre Loti cafe. Was a slightly lazy choice and it is probably about a 25 min walk up the hill but was a fun thing to do and wanted to save my legs and it is long walk back to my hotel from the end of the golden horn river/bay.
Enjoyed a fantastic view from the cafe and sat down to enjoy an apple. It was a favorite place to sit and write for a French novelist.
Walked down the hill through an old cemetery. Was interesting to look at the old stone carved ottoman gravestones.
Walked I to the. Courtyard of the Eyup sultan mosque but didn't go inside. The courtyard gardens and tree were nice enough to look at it was busy locals trying to use the mosque.
Next stop was the Zal Mahmut Pasa mosque from the 1560, again just looked at the outside as it was busy and I liked the exterior decorations.
Contained walking along the water till the Theodosian wall. These massive double structures built in 400 AD are well preserved due to each successive ruler of the region realizing there defense befit and ensure maintenance was upkept. Walked along them for a bit, at times there didn't seem to be much of path just wild park and then a gypsies camp which I tried to take a wide berth . Walked through the Edirnekapi gate looking for either the church or the mosque the guide book was suggesting. Looked around for a bit and got some bearings towards the Mihrimah mosque. The pray calls went out just as I was heading in that direction so waited in the park till it ended. Talked with the local street cart seller but he had limited English, was friendly though. Was getting to vibe that this is not a very touristy area. Headed inside but there was a lot of renovation underway so was only able to see a limited amount. The mosque stood out with it's very tall square thought still which is different from a lot of the others that I have seen and had pretty stained glass windows that were new as part of the renovation I guess.
Walked around trying to find the church of St Saviour in chora and it suddenly clicked that the signs were in Turkish not English and that I need to head towards kariye muzesi the Turkish spelling for the church. Found it no probably after that. Build in 11th century it has these amazing mosaics from the 13th century. The colour and detail in them :) also the frescoes from a similar period are very well preserved and very detailed.
Set off in search of some palace ruins long the wall. Wonder around the back streets just looking at the locals spend there weekend. Lots of kids out playing in parks and on the street with each. A couple of yells from mum out the window could be heard every once and a while.
With a bit of luck stumbled across both the palace I was looking for and both had enormous fences around them and closed for renovations. Was able to see a bit of the back wall of the Palace of Porphyrogenitus. Seem to be largely in tack considering it was over a thousand years ago.
Had to use google maps GPS to find my out of the back street of the housing suburb I seemed to be in and onto the main road. Walked along till I came across the church of St Stephen of the Bulgars, and I could believe when it too was closed and covered in scaffolding ! A bad pattern was starting to form. Was still able to look a bit through the fence to see the cast iron church that was build in Vienna in the 1870 and shipped to Istanbul.
Decided to try finding the church of the Pammakaristos as the guide book described it as a hidden secret and felt my luck has to change with the renovations and it did. The church was open and was able to look at the mosaics inside. They were nice but not as grand or detailed as the ones in st Stephen. Wondered around up and down the hilly streets in the suburbs of Balat and found the church of st Mary of the Mongols. It is Greek orthodox but was closed so just looked at the outside. Beautiful red brick and craved building with a tower.
Walked back down to the waters edge again strolling along just watching the local families out for a weekend picnic and men trying there luck at fishing. followed the water nearly all the way back to hotel before been distracted by the markets and shop. Wondering around quickly looking a few thing but they were so packed with people it was difficult to move or even try to get close to a shop. Finally back at the hotel and feeling exhausted... Light dinner and then early to bed. Another big day tomorrow but must remember to buy another memory card for the camera. Have already taken over 3500 photos.