Dec 24, 2010by tracey Comments

When we travel we seldom take guides and tend to wander. We see half the obvious sites except in a city like this where it would take years. And then we spend a lot of time in neighborhoods, walking the back streets, me peering into window, Glenn talking to strangers and the girls of course humiliated that we are their parents.  The good thing now is Taylor takes pictures and Lucy does too, so they find the odd more appealing.

The first morning we had heard that the Beyoglu    was upcoming with little streets that veered off into old Istanbul. The problem is many kind people think the you want to see things you are familiar with. So after climbing  a steep hill, we found this

I love the Christmas drink in the Muslim country. And inside everyone was on laptops, with smart phones and wearing jeans.

This was more of what I wanted.

And this.

It doesn’t really conjure up old Istanbul, but I loved the window and always play this game what would my life be like if I lived…..say in there?

We wandered down a side lane and found these men and their bread basket.

You see a lot of this and it looks really good.

We wandered into this beautiful Church.

And found another souvlaki guy. I was looking for old guys with houka pipes.

This was a little more like it, except they were sitting outside of an independent bookstore.

We wandered into a fish market.

You don’t see this everyday.

You do see this though. The girls wanted to go inside. I said no, we are here for local color.  The concierge had sent us to an even more upscale neighborhood where you find all the shops you do on every fancy street in the world. The only difference is it is so fancy they put a red carpet down for the cars to drive on

So once we saw that I said let’s leave Vuittonvllle and go to the Grand Bazar.

One of the famous Bazars in the world. But I must say compared to the ones in India so well organized and clean. You can find everything.

I wasn’t expecting the quality to be as good as it was, I was expecting real “Bazar” wares.  The stuff is really nice.  There are what feel like miles of jewelry stores.

I bought him. He’s not real stones or anything, I just thought he was cute.

We walked out the back entrance and got a little lost.

This is “Reasonable Charlie” that is his name, he wanted to help us find our way back, but he wanted to show us his rugs first.

Once we saw the Blue Mosque we found our way back.

The girls were so tired they stayed in and had room service and watched TV.  I couldn’t waste a night in Istanbul, so we headed to Mikli which is this, OK it’s considered hip, but it is said to have the best view in the city. I don’t have anything to compare it to but it worked for me.

The photos don’t begin to do it justice. You see lit up domes and Mosques for miles, with the Bosporus separating the East from the West.

Pardon the typos, running – no time to proof.