Slept so heavy after yesterday walking everywhere. Talk with a family at breakfast about catching the ferry and they said not much point going to Asian side as little to see just suburbs. My plan was to go to ortakoy by ferry. Walked around at the waters edge looking at the different ports and asked a few people and there didn't seem to be a ferry to the port I wanted to go to. So got the one to the port on the same European side of the bosphorus just a kilometer downstream. Was only a 15 min wait till it departed which is better then my mistimings of yesterday. There also seemed to be a lot of tourists which normally is a sign it is going to a tourist spot. Enjoyed a nice 30 min and the ferry came to a spot on the Asian side of the river.... This is not were I wanted to be or thought I was going to end up. It is in fact a different continent from where I was hoping to be. Walked around and asked several different people how I could get to somewere near where I wanted to be on the other side. All people pointed in the direction of this one ferry. Have learnt you can just ask one person as they often give an answer even if not sure, always best to ask a few different people and go with the majority. this ferry has no tourists which wasn't inspiring just a couple of creepy men. But it did take me to the port I was aiming for. Disembarked and walked along towards the suburb of ortakoy which has Sunday market on the waters edge. Tried to stop in along the way to look at the ciragan palace only to learn it is not open to the public but instead is a very upmarket private hotel. Walked along to the markets but was disappointed that they were mostly stalls selling cheap Chinese made jewelry etc. Walked around for a while enjoying the waters edge and tried to look at the mecidiye mosque but was covered in construction site. Such a nice day for walking so headed off towards the Yildiz palace. Walked into the Yildiz palace which were lovely and full of couple taking there wedding pictures. I think maybe I passed across 50 different groups. Didn't see any dresses that particular stood out as amazing. Look around the outside of a couple of the Pavillions found in the park and then headed to far end of the park were the palace should have been. It was there but a large defensive wall and moat prevented entry. Look again at the guidebook and map and realized that the entry was not via the park ( even thought they share the same name) but instead via some side streets next to the park. Backtracked through the park and then walked or rather slowing climbed up the steep street to arrive at the palace. Entered but wasn't really overwhelmed by what was inside. No photos were allowed. It contained a lot of military uniforms and some pieces of ceramic. After all the effort it had taken to get there I was expecting a slighted grander building. Cut through some side street to head towards to Ihlamar park and Pavillion. Passed by the Yildiz hamidiye mosque and clock tower. Just looked at the outside but was interesting to see a clock tower that is associated with a mosque. Haven't come across that yet in my walks... Wonder which was there first?
Was distracted again by a Iskender kebab restaurant. Has to stop in for a quick snack. It was delicious... Hot butter poured on top with a side of grape juice. Lucky I am walking up and down lots of hills.
The ihlamur garden is a private park which is home to three pavilions built by various sultans. The main on was closed so was just able to look at the outside. On of the others is a restaurant but it also closed sort of. Door was open so popped my head in quickly and looked around. The most striking features of these buildings is the craved details in the stonework on the outside. Walked through the Mecka democracy park. Tried not look at a group of young boys that were getting in trouble for swimming in the fountain in there underwear. Walked up a large steep hill towards Taksim square. I was struggling which is a sad sign of my lost fitness I think.
Passed by the ITU Uni campus. It was nice large square building with a large central courtyard.
As I got closer to Taksium square the crowd number started to build so as that by the time I was in the square it was packed. Sat down long enough to enjoy a bottle of water before I started walking down the Istiklal avenue ( the main shopping street of the area). There were so many people it was like been in a crush. I used to think Doncaster mall got busy on the weekend... But it has nothing on the people trying to shop and walk through here. Took a quick detour to the Ayia Triada orthodox church. Was just slowing wondering along the outer gardens towards the entry but it was looking shut. Another group of tourists came along and this was enough people to draw the attention of a security person to come out and said it was closed buy he would open it quickly for 5 mins. Was a nice church inside. The high stained glass windows combined with the angel of the sun meant it was very colorful inside.
Time to face the crowd and continue my walk down the avenue. Wondered in and out of a few shops but they were mostly large European chain store. Came across a nice Turkish delight shop... Claim to be on of the original store. It was tasty regardless.
Came across the saint Antoine church. Was a red brick church built around turn of the century.
Was getting ready to turn off towards the Galata tower but my camera ran out of battery and my legs were getting tired from all the walking so left it for another day.
Finally got the end of the shopping avenue and crossed over the Galata bridge was care. There were hundreds of men out fishing and I didn't want to get hocked. Enjoyed the view greatly over the water and towards Topkapi palace.
Spent over 90 min in the computer downstairs trying to copy my photos from memory card onto USB for safe keeping. Felt reapply bad that it took so along when there were other people waiting. Not sure what took so long but was annoyed that a 8gb USB doesn't hold all of the photos from a 8gb memory card.
It was interesting today to see the contracts between the different areas of Istanbul. The places I was walking today were like been in a completely different city from yesterday. All expensive European and international brand stores. Road and footpaths in tacts and high end cars were been driven around. Apartment and gardens with security and doormen. Very different from yesterday were there was the washing hanging out from the windows and men walking around with carts and yelling out selling fish or vegetables to the housewives.