Chora Church, Bosphorus, Bazaars Istanbul

We started with a visit to the Chora Church — now the Kariye Museum — which we reached via a taxi trip that gave us a view of the city walls.

From the church we climbed onto the nearby section of the Walls, then walked down through back streets to the Golden Horn. There we got a bus to Eminonu — though we were a bit disconcerted when this reached its destination by crossing the Ataturk bridge and then coming back over the Galata bridge.

We had lunch and briefly explored the Spice Bazaar before heading off on a Bosphorus cruise. This took us across to the Asian shore and then up the Bosphorus to the second bridge; it wasn’t one of the cruises where there’s a stop at the Rumeli fort.

Back at Eminonu we had a fish sandwich from the floating stalls, then took at look at the Rustem Pasha mosque, which is a lovely little mosque just off a back street.

From there we walked up the hill to the Grand Bazaar. From reading the guidebook, I was expecting a crowded maze of narrow streets full of pushy salesmen, but this was more like a fancy European shopping suburb, with wide regular streets and expensive shops. (It is effectively a whole suburb that has been roofed over, with different areas done at different times in differen styles.)

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