A Travellerspoint blog

Beyoglu and Balat

Istiklal Caddesi and then Camhane Art Center in Balat district

semi-overcast 22 °C

We spent the morning walking along Istikal Caddesi, up to Taksimi Square and back again. Most of it is like Pitt Street Mall in Sydney although there are a couple of fine embassy buildings dating from the 18C and 19C

At lunchtime we were due to meet an artist friend of a friend in Byron Bay - Yasemin sent a car to pick us up at the apartment and just 15 minutes later we were at the wonderful Camhane Art Center in the Balat district just a short way up the Golden Horn and only a 100 metres from the water


Yasemin Aslan Bakiri's glass work is truly wonderful and the galleries in the restored 16th-century palace really set off her art beautifully


Despite a very busy schedule, she and her manager had arranged a quite spectacular vegetarian feast in the courtyard and we spent a very enjoyable couple hours discussing her work, Istanbul and Byron Bay. When we finally left Yasemin to catch up with her work, she suggested a walk through the nearby old part of Balat, a very neglected but soon to be "gentrified" area, apparently, much to the dismay of the current residents

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Posted by kforge 00:42 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

Byron Bay to Istanbul

Jetstar and Etihad

sunny 22 °C

The usual delays with any domestic flight in or out of Sydney but an easy transfer to the intenational terminal and quick check-in with Etihad. Their lounge is simply superb - excellent food either a-la-carte or grazing, a nice drop or two of Piper Heidsieck and great service. The flight to Istanbul via Abu Dhabi was OK but defintely not up to the standard of all the recent reviews! The pre-arranged, 30-minute, 45 Euro taxi-ride into the Beyoglu district of Istanbul was along the widest motorway I have ever seen anywhere (including Los Angeles)

The apartment is in Yeni Carsi Caddesi not far from the main thoroughfare Istiklal Caddesi - the walking distance is certainly not far but you have to climb lanes where crampons would be handy

After settling in, we needed some Turkish Lira to buy a few groceries at the corner store, so headed down our street looking for an ATM - we actually missed one 25 metres from the apartment and ended up walking about 2 kms before finding one. And then the jet-lag really kicked in and we forgot to take the card back after getting the money (I picked it up the next day after realising what we'd done). However, we had great walk and ended up at the Galata Tower built in 1348 by the Genoese. We then got lost and had to retrace our steps back to our street where we finally bought a few things


Here's the view from our small balcony - we can actually see the Galata Tower and the Haghia Sophia:


We've been down this twice but not up yet:


Posted by kforge 20:00 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)


Where we'll Be for two or three months

all seasons in one day 25 °C

May 11-12: Byron Bay to Sydney to Istanbul

May 12-19: Istanbul

May 20: Leave Istanbul, heading for Ayvalik

Last 10 days or so of May: Greek Islands

June 8-17: Peloponnese and north coast of the Gulf of Corinth

Last 10 days or so of June: Ionian Islands, Albania, Montenegro

Beginning of July: Croatia

Sometime in July: Northern Germany, England, Helsinki and maybe Iceland


Posted by kforge 22:44 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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