It’s The Journey

It’s The Journey

As we travel more, we begin to appreciate that the journey is often more rewarding than the destination. When you pick a destination, you already have some kind of expectation of the place. However, the journey there is often full of surprises.

We decided to walk to Ortaköy today to check out the Ortaköy Mosque under the Bosphorus bridge that crosses over to the Asian side.

Since we got a late start this morning, we decided to eat lunch in the Karaköy area first.

A glimpse of the Galata Tower, which is just around the corner from where we’re staying
Lunch at NATO Lokantasi
Yummy lamb wrapped in eggplant
Joe’s beef stew. He ranks this #1 along with Antiochia (#3 is Nuruosmaniye Köftecisi, and #4 is Sehzade Cag Kebap)

One thing I want to mention is that pilaf in Turkey is heavenly, and this comes from a person who doesn’t like rice.

After getting sustenance into our system, we were ready for the hour and a half march to Ortaköy along Meclis-I Mebusan Caddesi. However, we were not ready for all the beautiful mosque domes, and more, that awaited us along the way.

I love these low hanging chandeliers (similar in style to the ones in Hagia Sophia) in the Kilic Ali Paşa Mosque built in the 1580s by Mimar Sinan (same architect who built the Süleymaniye Mosque).
Relatively simple dome design
We didn’t have to walk far before we got to Nusretiye Mosque built in 1823 as part of the military complex.
Notice the more elaborate chandelier
Possibly my third favorite dome after the one in Nuruosmaniye Mosque and the Topkapı Palace library

Prior to our walk, I saw a pin on Google maps for Rainbow Stairs, so I was on the lookout for that. However, what I didn’t expect to see was this…

Painting of another set of stairs in progress
Here’s the Rainbow Stairs as expected, but notice how the shadow of the tree looks as if it’s part of the painting, making it look much more interesting.
We reached Dolmabahçe Mosque, which we didn’t get a chance to check out the other day due to the downpour. The crystal chandelier looks like the exact style as those in the Dolmabahçe Palace.
The dome looked rather incongruent with the fancy chandelier

We finally made it to Ortaköy Mosque, but coincided with call to prayer, which meant we couldn’t enter the mosque for half an hour during prayer time.

So we ducked into a cafe for a Turkish coffee and rice pudding break, while marveling at all the Instagram influencers painstakingly posing for that perfect shot that might earn them followers, likes, and millions.

Ortaköy Mosque with the Bosphorus bridge in the background
Ortaköy Mosque was built around the same time as the Dolmabahçe Mosque, so it’s no wonder there are crystal chandeliers as well. There are just more of them!
I must admit that I’m partial to the domes designed during the earlier years of the Ottoman Empire
The backside of the mosque

Ortaköy is known for their kumpir, which is a baked potato mashed with butter, and loaded with stuff you pick like olives, sausages, mushrooms, corn, peas, cabbage, etc.

So everyone is selling it.

I had wanted to try it, but knew that I’d regret it later because…

Just looking at that loaded baked potato made me want to walk it off.

Kitty protesting because I interrupted her meal.

Here’s an interesting thing we noticed on our walk back. Instead of telling you how far you are from a sight, signs in Istanbul tell you how long it’ll take you to get there. This is quite interesting, because it doesn’t tell you how fast you must walk. So we tested it out.

We found out that the pace is a pace slightly slower than the NYC I-got-places-to-go pace (i.e., Faith’s pace). Not a touristy, leisurely stroll.

Today’s total was $17.

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