After a liter of water mixed with oral hydration salt and a good sleep, the sickly one felt a little better, but not well enough to go out and about. I made sure that my patient had a good breakfast and enough supply of oral hydration salt, then I went to explore the city on my own.
I decided to visit Galata Tower, a medieval tower that was built in 1348. It wasn’t in the initial plan to go there, but I did some online research the night before (since I didn’t go anywhere) and figured out it would be a nice and safe place to go alone. So I took the tram to Karaköy station headed to the tower. It was quite easy to get there as there were plenty of signboards. The only downside was...
...it was a really uphill climb! No kidding!
If you wish to go there, my advice would be to go in the morning and have a hearty breakfast before you attempt to walk up. The stairs were only the initial part of the journey. Afterwards you would have to climb some really steep and narrow roads to reach the tower.
Up and up I went...
...until I saw a glimpse of the tower *phew*
A bit on the tower’s history.
Thankfully there was an elevator to bring me up...
...but a bit more climbing was still required to reach the observatory deck.
Finally reached the top, yeay!
A bird’s eye view of the city with Galata Bridge in the middle.
A beautiful rooftop garden that reminded me of Dyanna. Another option for her besides Uruguay ;-)
If you had no idea what landmarks you saw from afar, this board would guide you.
A group of elderly Spanish tourists kept me company.
I left the tower and took a slightly different route to go down, just to check out the surrounding area. The narrow cobblestone road and the medieval architecture reminded me of Toledo, a historic city in Spain that I visited a couple of years ago. The aimless walk led me to Kamondo Stairs, another landmark close to the main road.
Kamondo Stairs, which was built by the wealthy Kamondo family for their kids to use to go to school. It was shaped that way to prevent the kids from rolling all the way down if they fall.
I saw these American tourists at Galata Tower and decided to walk close to them so I felt safe :-p
Waiting for the tram at Karaköy station. Decided to travel up to Kabataş station...
...and go to Dolmabahçe Palace once again!
As I said a couple of days ago, we missed the chance to see the harem as we reached the place too late. So since I suddenly had some time to spend on my own, I thought it would be perfect to go there again just to check out the harem, so I wouldn’t go home biting my fingernails for not being able to see such an important landmark. There were a lot more as compared to the first time around, but the good thing about the second visit was that I got to see the guard changing ceremony!
Check out the ceremony on video. By the way, it happened at 11am sharp.
Entrance to the harem. Similar rules as the palace - no photograph allowed inside, so no pic to share.
Clock Museum within the palace’s compound.
Palace’s Aviary, where they kept many different species of birds.
Crystal Pavilion within the glass walls on the upper floor, which wasn’t really worth going in. But since it was already included in the entrance fee, why not?
Stopped by the palace’s cafeteria for cheese cake and Turkish coffee.
Walked back to Kabataş tram/funicular station, passing by Kabataş port along the way.
Decided to take the funicular from Kabataş to Taksim and go to İstiklal Avenue again, to cover the remaining part of the shopping street that we didn’t cover the other day.
Saint Anthony Catholic Church in the middle of the avenue.
Check this out blogger pals - we got a shop there too!
I spent quite some time walking along the long stretch, stopping at one shop after another. I nearly lost track of time until the sickly one texted me asking when I was coming back as it was already late afternoon. So I walked all the way to the other end of the avenue and took an old subway called Tünel (the second oldest subway system in the world) from Tünel station (yes, the station had the same name) to Karaköy station. The fare was slightly more expensive at TRL 2.50 (RM 5) and it used a ticket instead of a token. The subway stopped near Karaköy tram station that I dropped by earlier in the morning when I visited Galata Tower.
Tünel subway was established in 1875, twelve years after London Underground.
I walked out of the subway from this exit near Karaköy tram station.
The underground passageway from the subway station to the tram station. Signage everywhere, I like!
Went back to the hotel. The sickly one had recovered and all ready to explore the city. Dropped off my shopping goods and went out again, no longer alone this time.
To be continued...