As you are all aware Daughter and I are in Sydney visiting family and friends. Currently I am suffering from a nasty bout of the flu and hating just about everything and everyone but I am quite certain I will feel better after a little blogging and a little TLC. While recuperating I thought I tell you about our day in Istanbul visiting all of our favourite haunts. I posted Five Things back in March but today as our time was limited we did not get to complete our usual five instead we downsized to Three Things.
Shopping – or where my credit card takes a beating
I was well aware of the fact that we were returning to Sydney and that shopping in this great city is amongst the best in the world but for Daughter shopping at Top Shop on Istiklal Caddesi is amongst the “totally best thing” in the world and I automatically become “an alright mum” as a result. I accept that lacklustre award. I don’t really mind that much to be honest as it is cheaper to shop in Turkey for Daughter than it is in Sydney. Knock yourself out sweetheart. I did have to remind her though that her suitcase will not magically make the space so desperately needed and once it is full, it is full.
For me I needed to stop at The Grand Bazaar and stock up on Turkish Delight and gifts for my family and friends. An empty suitcase makes it very easy to buy up big – which I did.
Basilicia Cistern – or that cool place that was in that James Bond movie back when
Yes again. Oh how I love coming here. If you time it just right you can get the place to yourself although there was no chance of that during this visit. Istanbul always has been a mecca for tourists but during our limited time here it seemed that each and every one of them decided to go to my Basilica Cistern while we were visiting. After waiting just over an hour to get through the door the normal cool underground respite became a hot and frankly a little on the nose. Daughter made her way down to Medusa’s Head to make her wish while I stopped and ordered a cay from the elderly man who works at the café. I recently heard there are a few other cisterns here in Istanbul including the Sultan Sarnici and Nakilbent Sokak. We did not have to time to visit them today but on our next stop in Istanbul it will definitely be on the cards.
Suleymaniye Mosque – or if you don’t visit the Mosque you will hate yourself later
Istanbul is full of the most amazing mosques but as we always stay at Sirkeci Mansion in Sultanamet we usually walk up the third hill of Istanbul to Suleymaniye Mosque. Morning or night this mosque is quite a commandeering sight and each visit to the Mosque gives me a new experience. On this visit we spent time walking through the gardens that surround the mosque before making our way to the tombs of Suleiman and Hurrem Sultan. Though Hurrem Sultan was gossiped about and ostracized she was Suleiman’s true love and they now spend eternity together buried in the grounds of Suleymaniye Mosque. I have told the story of Suleiman and Hurrem Sultan many times to Daughter over the years and her take on their relationship is thus:
“If you are meant to be then nothing is going to stop you. Like Edward and Bella (Twilight).”
Alright so it seems that Suleiman and Hurrem Sultan are the Edward and Bella of the 1500’s.
If you only have 24 hours or 1 day in my Istanbul and even if you only see one or two things this beautiful city has so much to offer.
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