Beautiful day at Wareham, Dorset, England.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Keinton Mandeville, Somerset, England.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Birmingham, England on May 19th!

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

The spring tulips in Istanbul are really pretty

We figured we should get out and do some exploring, so we hopped on the ferry to Eminonu which is the main historical district. We have been there before, but we wanted to go back to Gulhane Park to see if the spring tulips were still in bloom. 

Another beautiful day, but with a cooler high of about 18C (64F) and a strong breeze. Lots of sunshine though!

Before we could head out though, we took Gus for a long walk...

A sailboat taking advantage of the breeze.

Scenery along the way.

Gus is such a funny dog. He's quite good off leash... he just kind of minds his own business and doesn't bother other people, and doesn't want anything to do with other dogs. And of course there are a lot of cats around as well, but Gus can walk by one a foot away and not pay any attention to it.

There is one section of the waterfront walk that we do where there is a short wall. Gus likes to hop up on the wall and walk along there. 

Gus, walking on the wall.

Scenery along the way.

The feral cats are well looked after. 
People build houses for them and supply lots of food and water.

We dropped Gus off back at the apartment and walked to the ferry terminal and took the ferry to the historical section.

Old locomotive outside Sirkeci Station where the original Orient Express train came from Paris.

Entering Gulhane Park, we saw that the tulips are in full bloom! We're probably a couple of days past their prime, but still... our timing was pretty good!

The displays are really well done.

A random person watching the water flip like the pages of a book.

Really nice walk through the park.

From there, we went down to the waterfront and walked along there until we could get up to where the two big famous mosques are... the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia Mosque.

Lots of fishermen.
You can see that the wind has really picked up.

There is a cruise ship in port.

The old city wall.

Interesting wooden building.

We walked by the Hagia Sophia Mosque.

No need to go in though... especially not at €25 ($27 USD, $36 CAD) per person. And, we went in totally for free back in April of 2022. I remember that it was totally over crowded then, and I don't blame them for instituting an entry fee to limit the crowds. It sill looks like lots of people are willing to pay, so good for them.

We are quite happy to look at some of the exterior buildings.

We were getting hungry for some lunch, but we were in a very touristy overpriced section of town. So we walked to a more local area where you don't see so much English in the signs.

Hm. What should we have for lunch??

We know that "tavuk is chicken, and "sis" is like a skewer or kebabs so we ordered two of them at 90 lira ($2.80 USD, $3.80 CAD) each.

Sure enough, it was chicken skewers and a salad, but it came with flatbread and bulger which Ruth can't eat. Bulger is not my favorite either. We'll have to remember that bulger is fairly common here and maybe we can ask for rice next time. Still, it was a decent meal for the price. I forgot to get a photo.

From there, we went to the grand bazar just to wander around. It was really busy though.

The ceiling is interesting.

Lamps for sale.

Turkish delight?

Back outside heading down to the waterfront and the ferry, the pedestrian streets were teeming with people. You could hardly move. Good thing there wasn't some kind of emergency.

Yikes. Just a little crowded!

We had a fun day, but that's enough of the touristy area of Istanbul.

Today we are headed to the local Tuesday market. It's about a 2.5 km (1 mile) walk each way.


And in Canada...

A rare great deal on Jackery Power Stations at


  1. Beautiful tulips indeed! Interestingly, I am reading a Dan Brown novel right now that takes place mostly in Florence, Italy, but towards the end, they go to Istanbul, and both the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia Mosque, especially the latter, feature in the story! I thought that was an interesting coincidence when I read your blog post yesterday.

    1. The tulips were beautiful and almost as pretty as what our hometown of Ottawa"s are. I think the displays in Ottawa cover a much larger area throughout the downtown area of the city though.

      What Dan Brown novel is it? We have read several of his books now but that was a while ago and maybe it is a new for us to read.

  2. Sorry; for some reason I no longer get notifications if you've replied to a comment, but I just happened to go back to this one and saw your question! The novel in question was "Inferno". It actually wasn't my favorite of his, but it was still interesting and worth reading. A lot of his descriptions would mean a lot more to you two, since you've been to these places, than they did to me. I used a lot of googling to check out spots he mentions, because they are all real places/buildings/churches, which is very cool.

    1. Strange that you aren't getting the reply notifications, we don't know what to suggest other than maybe clicking off the "notify me" and then click it back on.

      I don't think we have read that book, I am pretty sure though that we have both read the other three of the Robert Langdon series, although I am not totally sure about the "Lost Symbol" either. I am going to have to try to get both those books to read/reread. I know for sure that we have read the other two. I like his books because of the real places in them and his writing style.


There are more comments on our facebook page at

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.