Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The Grand Bazaar and neighborhood

We were actually looking for Zeyrek mosque, not for the mosque but it was an old Byzantine church before and its architecture was typical Byzantine. We couldn't locate it, no one has heard of it but I know we were very close. Anyway we found this neighborhood instead. Here were some old Ottoman buildings, some of which has been rehabbed, others in the process, still others being abandoned. They were gorgeous. It was like ditching your guidebook and letting serendipity take over. Istanbul is stultifying this way, it is hard to find your way in spite of knowing the Turkish name of places. I was exasperated most of the time. I'm going to hire a guide the next time. I had a guide for Cappadocia and he made all the difference, so much so that I left my heart in Cappadocia. Guides are not expensive at all and is really worth it.

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