Monday, 14 May 2012

Turkish Delights

I was in Istanbul for a few days last week. It is an interesting and vibrant city. We spent our time in Sultanahmet the old part of the city. We stayed in Levni Hotel which I would recommend highly. It was an oasis in a chaotic city where we had free afternoon tea every day and an incredible breakfast. It was within walking distance of the main attractions and we even had a Hamam (Turkish Bath) in their spa. Here are some of the highlights.

A mouth watering display of Turkish Delight in the Spice Bazaar, Many of the streets around this Bazaar were closed off as they were shooting a James Bond movie "Sky Fall", I can't wait to see it as I will recognize the scenes now. Below was one area that was closed, even the pigeon's were curious.
A skyline view from Haghia Sophia with the minarets of The Blue Mosque in the distance.
Ciragan Palace below was fully restored in 1990 after being destroyed by fire in 1910.
Superb Iznik tiles in the Crown Princes Apartments within the Harem at Topkapi Palace.
Detail from Bagdad Pravillion at Topkapi Palace. 

And then there was shopping, What holiday would be complete without it? except I was not much taken with their style see bed below
outside the Bazaars they group the same type of shops together, Every shop on this street only sold headscarves, being a predominantly Muslim city head scarves are an important fashion item.
The bargaining system seemed to be only one way, It was o.k. if the stall holder was doing the deal but negotiations quickly ended if you offered them too little!

But the Grand Bazaar had beautiful painted vaults, the crowds were unbelievable, and the the shopkeepers are relentless in their efforts to make a sale! Which for me is a real deterrent, it took all the fun out of window shopping.
Istanbul has a wealth of culture and history. It is a city that joins Europe with Asia and that uniqueness I enjoyed the most. 

The Turkish people are so friendly and helpful and there is so much to see and do. We could have spent much longer than the few days we had. I would highly recommend it for a city break.


  1. turkey seems to be an inspiring country! Thanks for sharing.

  2. gmail said your email was incorrect so am sending this way! sorry it will be so long ....

    Hello Eithna,

    Here below is the link to the Ink on Ice porcelain. I need to amend my blog and say that the porcelain is by Sandy Wrightson is the ceramic artist and that she has made a series of work inscribing various Tasmanians who have written gorgeous fragments about wild places in Tasmania. Chris Bell is one of those and I will write out what he says on my piece as on this website, you will see quotes from a couple of others ……

    Hope that all makes sense. You can let me know if you can't purchase a piece and I will gladly take a couple of photos of mine for you to drool over!

    October Snowfalls

    … the sky is full of the wandering snowflakes. They do not 'fall' as one might expect, but fly, like white butterflies, weightless in the restless, cold air …

    Little by little, the landscape becomes hushed in the soft embrace of snow. All sound is muffled. Occasional short blasts of wind scuffle with one another in hushed bouts - causing the descending snowflakes to take wing one more and fly aimlessly about. The waterfall has ceased entirely. It is silent but the the sighing in the pines.

    All for now,

    warmly, susan

  3. Wow, those tiles were soo beautiful! DId you try the turkish baths, too? Never been myself, but they always sound pretty neat :)

  4. Great photos... it's given me a mini holiday (at 6 am.....) Thanks.


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