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Turkey: Back to Istanbul & one for the road...

Old cameras at the hotel. Nothing special, Arca Swiss LF camera, and no exotics to nick. Last night in Istanbul

11 September 2009: Arrived back in Istanbul from Adana around 1600hrs today. From sunny Adana, I came back to a cloudy Istanbul. I have Kodachrome loaded in my Leica ready to shoot but it was never meant to be. By the time I got to the hotel, it was starting to drizzle a little, the sky grey as usual. News on the way indicated heavy flooding in parts of Istanbul, not in old town for sure. But I'm happy enough to have almost two weeks of sun, so this last day of less than perfect light is not going to be an issue.

On the last day I have here, it will be used to explore places I left out in the first few days. First off, to Eminonu docks to have a fish sandwich. I didn't really miss this one earlier, if you recall, but the fish sandwich is so good here, I will need to have one last one before I leave. Recognised this time, the fish in question is Mackerel, so this is not for the people who hate fishy smell. It's basically pan fried mackerel with salad in bread. Simple and good. Then its off by bus to Balat as I still have some more credit left in my transport key fob. Walking around and shooting the other side of the Golden Horn, this place looks a lot quieter than Eminonu or Sultanahmet. Right after, at Ayvansaray Iskelesi, a ferry took me back to Eminonu before sun was down. Originally I had plans to go back to Harem to take another set of sunset photos but cloud cover was so thick it was going from light to dark without the amber transition in the sky, so plan scrapped and decided to spend some time at Rustem Pasa Mosque.

On the way to Eminonu...

Bosphorus Car Ferry

No, no the fish sandwich I'm after...

Locals (I guess) looking at a passenger Bosphorus ferry, Galata tower in the far background...

Ayvansaray Ferry Terminal in Balat

Lone boat, Halic (Golden Horn) Bridge in the background. In Balat.

Ayvansaray Station waiting room

The ferries that ply the Golden horn arrive head-first and passengers board from the front tip.

One colour shot of the golden horn ferry interior... Obviously this is the open air part of the deck

View of old Istanbul from the golden horn ferry

Fellow passengers.

And soon I'm back at Eminonu...

Dodgy pier-side cafe...

Rustem Pasa Mosque dome!

Along with plenty of old Iznik tiles in this mosque...

This mosque is just filled with beautiful Iznik quartz tiles...

But Rustem Pasa is also a fully working mosque...

But I believe high contrast scenes like this looks better with black and white film...

Exteriors of Rustem Pasa is equally mesmerizing.

At night the fish sandwich shops come alive. The kitchen is on the rocking boat on the right, and the patrons on the left on terra firma.

Yeni Mosque at Eminonu

Zenep Sultan Mosque not too far from Aya Sofia, at night of course.

And blue mosque in Sultanahmet Square

Hmmm... desserts

Kybele Hotel room

Lobby...

12 September 2009:

And on the last day, a trip to the Grand Bazaar in the center of town is in order. What a better thing to do than to visit the bazaar before it is really open and tourists visit. 7am is a good time. And just to make things interesting, today is exclusively film only. And here are the photos:

Istanbul's Grand Bazaar early in the morning...

... which features many of these squares in the maze of shops, I believe this is part of a caravanserai for the ancient merchants to rest...

... corridors, I really wish I remember where this was, but it is terribly easy to get lost...

... but no doubt I'm at the bazaar...

And not to be mistaken, some merchants do start early!

And a few more of downtown Sultanahmet before heading off to the airport...

I was so tired after two weeks I could have followed this guy.

On second thoughts, I wouldn't want to wake up to pigeon droppings...

And one last picture of the Blue Mosque before rewinding...

Goodbye Turkey, hello Singapore...

*The End*