Istanbul: Beyoglu

In our sojourn in Istanbul at the beginning of the trip, we hadn’t left the old city, apart from a brief and accidental bus loop and a Bosphorus cruise. So when we returned to Istanbul we decided to visit the newer part of town. Istanbul is enormous, so this was still only a tiny bit of the central city.

We caught the tram to Karakoy and the funicular up to Tünel. We had coffee in a cafe/bookshop waiting for the Pera Museum to open. This had a temporary exhibition by South American artist Fernando Botero, who was a real discovery to me. The permanent exhibitions include galleries of Orientalist paintings, Anatolian weights and measures, and Kütahya tiles and ceramics.

We had lunch, then walked down Istiklal Caddesi, a pedestrianized boulevard, to Taksim Square. On the way, we found a whole cluster of really nice bookshops, some of them with an extensive range of books in English.

Near Taksim, we looked at an old cistern turned art gallery, and at an Orthodox Church.

We wandered around separately in the morning. I walked back past the university and had a look at the Aqueduct of Valens. The Calligraphy Museum was closed, as was the Binbirdirek Cistern.

Gabi and I met up to say goodbye and pick up our bags before she got her shuttle bus to Ataturk airport and I got mine to Sabiha Gokcen airport.

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