Last few days were filled with city trips. We first went to the Panoramic Museum that depicts Istanbul's conquest at 1453 by Fatih Sultan Mehmet. I had seen the website and I was curious but not so impressed. Well, I was wrong. The panorama was amazing. It was in a giant dome and as you were inside, you really felt like you were standing in the battle scene. The panorama was painted in beautiful detail, the audio devices from the museum worked without even pressing buttons as you moved around the view and the panoramo itself had audio coming from different angles representing different things happening in the battlefield. Sadly, we forgot our camera. You could take photos and videos, and there were some funny people trying to take 360 degree videos walking over each other.
Yesterday, we enjoyed our local ferry line. I believe that this line is mostly for fun as it draws a zigzag on the Bosphorous and goes from the European to the Asian side with sometimes only a 5-minute ride in between two piers. We went from our Bebek pier to Cengelkoy pier on the Asian side. Cengelkoy had a cozy little downtown with lots of small produce stores selling its famous cucumber. It also had many restaurants and cafes right by the water as the waterline has a magnificient view. You can see the Bosphorous Bridge, the Old City with the Topkapi Palace and the Galata Tower. The ferries, ships go by right in front of you. We went to one of these tea places and it was packed with people many of whom had packages from the "Cengelkoy Borekcisi." We followed course and got some famous borek from there and realized that this was the tasty routine of this neighborhood! We again had forgotten our camera...
I always wondered why there were not that many places by the water in San Francisco. Just a handful in the big city. Istanbul is filled with cafes and restaurants by the water. Maybe because it is what Turkish people do better (lounging instead of working hard) or maybe because the view here is ridiculously beautiful. The old palaces, mosques, towers, bridges on land, all sorts of vehicles on water. Oh, Old Istanbul, I am getting very used to you!
Today, we visited the Sakip Sabanci Museum. The staff was super helpful to us with two kids. Only I had to go through the security (John could wait in the car with the girls), we parked right in front of the museum and we did not have to pay anything as kids are free and John and I were accompanying them! The actual museum galleries had no exhibits but Sakip Sabanci's own house is turned into a museum with a permanent calligraphy exhibit. Then we had a quick lunch at the museum restaurant and enjoyed its garden. This time we had our camera which was very lucky, the weather was gorgeous. Here are some photos:
It was one fine day here in Istanbul.