Karakoy area (the "other" side of Galata Bridge)
Most people visit the Eminonu side of the Galata Bridge, but we visited the "other" side also and walked along the wharfs where the big tourist boats (Love Boats) arrive and their hundreds disembark to walk that area. The area also includes the Galata Tower, but will show that in another spot. There were a few tourist shops, some fishing/diving gear shops and a few restaurants, but not overly much for a "serious" tourist. We did get a few views, like the steps shown in the first photo (taken on the way to Galata Tower). Along the waterfront you get some fine views along the Eminonu waterfront and the Topkapi Palace.
Saint Valentine's with the ex of my ex!
We decided to spend Saint Valentine's together. We went to Tap's (a beer house in Tesvikiye, you can find tips about it in Mehbos' pages). 80 percent of the tables were occupied by the couples; kissing each other, holding each other... Then we decided to go to NuPera, where there would be a private party. The private party was open to everyone and it was full of left overs and we were among them. Iyyyk. On top of this, the difficult mission was to get rid of the waiter who was thinking that it was HIS DAY!
Turkey is a predominantly...
Turkey is a predominantly mountainous country, and true lowland is confined to the coastal fringes. About one-fourth of the surface has an elevation above 4,000 feet (1,219 metres), and less than two-fifths lies below 1,500 feet. Mountain crests exceed 7,500 feet in many places, particularly in the east, where Turkey's highest mountain, Mount Ararat (Agri) reaches 16,853 feet (5,137 metres) close to the borders with Armenia and Iran. Steep slopes are common throughout the country, while flat or gently sloping land makes up barely one-sixth of the total area. These relief features affect other aspects of the physical environment, producing climates often much harsher than might be expected for a country of Turkey's latitude and reducing the availability and productivity of agricultural land.
Structurally, the country lies within the geologically young folded-mountain zone of Eurasia, which in Turkey trends predominantly east to west. The geology of Turkey is complex, with sedimentary rocks ranging from Paleozoic to Quaternary, numerous intrusions, and extensive areas of volcanic material. Four main regions can be identified: the northern folded zone, the southern folded zone, the central massif, and the Arabian platform.
One of the off the beaten paths in Istanbul is the Kariye museum. Also known as the Chora church has the most beautiful mosaics that you can see in Istanbul. Kariye museum is in Edirnekapi, Fatih region. I only know to reach there by a taxi but it should not cost more than 6-7 USD from the Touristy area. The museum is open everyday except Wednesday and open from 09:00 to 16:00 hours. And the entrance fee for this year is 10 million Trl, around 6 USD.
The Church was built in 12th Century and the mosaics are from the 14th century. The mosaics in the museum are in four different parts; the ones in the outer entrance and inner entrance are worth to see, especially the Anastasis, (The Resurrection). Where Christ, who had just broken down the gates of Hell, is standing in the middle and trying to pull Adam and Eve out of their tombs.
Rugs are a must!
The bazaars in Istanbul are unique to what we normally see here in the USA. Merchants are competitive and everyone wants you as a customer. Bargaining with the merchants will help you to get more items for your money. Turkish rugs are the most common things tourists will come home with. You may get the authentic silk rugs, which start at approximately $400 USD, or you may go wtih the less expensive synthetic rugs that can cost beginning anywhere near 20 or 30 Euro. Only downfall is that some of the rugs may be too large to bring home and you would have to pay extra charges for shipping home (which can really add up). Anywhere from 20-50 Euro for a cotton rug; anywhere from $400 USD to $1000 USD if not more for a silk rug depending on its size and quality.