Today is our last day in Istanbul, and as much as we've enjoyed this fascinating city, we are feeling ready to go. We leave tomorrow morning for Paris, we'll spend two days in our favorite city, and then fly home Thanksgiving morning. It's been a wonderful trip, and 4 1/2 weeks is just about our limit, we think!
We had only a loose plan for today. We took the Tram to the main ferry stop, going through Eminonu Square--it was really busy this morning! Many vendors selling those awful fish sandwiches from their fancy boats:
Carts selling snacks and hot drinks:
Along the way to the ferry pier we saw this old guy. He had quite a load on his back, he was selling big yellow apples:
While we waited at the pier, we noticed this "garbage" boat--they were chugging along, picking floating garbage out of the water:
We boarded our ferry and settled in for a 35 minute trip to the small town of Eyup, further up the Golden Horn from Istanbul. I love this view of Istanbul fading into the distance:
Pulling into Eyup, with the Eyup Sultan Mosque in the background:
Soon we came to the Eyup Sultan Mosque. Eyup is one of the holiest sites in Islam. Eyup Ensari , a close companion of the Prophet Muhammed, died during the Arab seige of Constantinople in 678 A.D.
His burial place was discovered in 1453, and a shrine was erected on this site. On Fridays and religious holidays crowds of faithful come to this Mosque to make their devotions.
The Mosque is set on a pretty marble town square, this is the entrance:
The passageways around the main dome had pretty painted ceilings, with lots of gold leaf:
View of the inner courtyard, with purification area:
We walked out into the square and saw this family sitting on a bench in front of the Mosque. I'd read about young boys coming to this Mosque, dressed in white suits for their ritual circumcision. This little boy's suit was quite fancy, with fur and gold embroidery.
We walked up the street just a ways, and I spotted this ice cream cart. As I watched I realized this was not ordinary ice cream, but Lokum, a Turkish delicacy that I'd wanted to try.
Most of the shops in this area sold traditional Muslim clothing for women:
I liked this ad for stylish women's attire:
This was the view from our lunch table:
I've really enjoyed the Spice Bazaar, much more than the Grand Bazaar--it's smaller and not quite as touristy. I picked up one last spice mix and a couple of small souvenirs, I guess I'm finished shopping now! Oh, wait--there's always the airport tomorrow morning......
One last look at the beautiful Hagia Sophia: