first off, this post is not going to be about my "opinions" about islam...when i say "views" i mean literally, the images that we had the privilege of seeing last sunday at the northeast end of the golden horn. i'm going to talk about our remarkable trip to the eyup district: the ferry ride (we all know how much i love those!), the eyup mosque (one of the holiest sites in islam), and finally, our trek up to pierre loti cafe!
so after a long saturday evening of karaoke in taksim, we set off for besiktas on sunday morning for a rowing competition of sorts. chelsea is an avid crew-er (?). it was cool to see an "athletic" crowd out to as fans and competitors in the city.
after the comp finished up, we set out for eyup mosque, which is one of the holiest sites in islam and THE holiest site in Istanbul. to get there, we took a FERRY! yay! this time we went up the golden horn, which he hadn't done yet. along the way we this killer view of (the valens?) aqueduct.
i just wanted to post this picture to show what our ferries look like!
below is the old galata koprsusu (the ottoman one). past the blue bridge, you can eyup in the upper left part of the pic. you can also see the pierre loti cafe -- its where the trees meet the sand color on the hill. when we finally got to the eyup stop, we just had to follow the throngs of people on the main cadessi -- after a few minutes we reached this fountain...
and we knew it was part of the entrance to eyup camii. this was by, far far far far the most islamic site we have seen in our time here. women in headscarves and full birkas everywhere, we counted almost 10 little boys dressed for circumcisions, and when we entered into the tomb of sultan ayyub (namesake of eyup mosque), the guard made me fix my scarf, which was accidentally showing some skin. this is a big deal! everywhere else we've gone, guards have been really chill about the headscarf dealio. obviously we don't want to abuse the privilege, but they've basically been letting us into mosques (esp in tourist districts) regardless if you are covered correctly or not. it was a real change of pace to get checked at eyup. and the crowds to get into the mausoleum and the mosque were crazzyyyyyyy. i can barely imagine what the hajj would be like...
inside the mausoleum. the body of ayyub sultan -- one of the prophet's closest friends.
women in focused prayer.
in front of the entrance to the women's prayer hall.
while we were in eyup, we made a "quintessential istanbul" stop at the pierre loti cafe. see this nice metro istanbul has built from the seaside up the mountain to pierre loti????
yeah, we didn't get that this was the metro. we thought it was like, some special ride or something. so we just kept walking, just kept walking, and walking up up up up the hill, following the signs for pierre loti. we should've known this trek was ahead of us when we asked for directions and people would just point to the sky. lollll. anyways after a good 25 minute hike, we finally turned into this amazing view of the city:
unfortunately i didn't take a picture of the cafe's seating area...i've really been lagging on picture taking! but this gives you some idea, hopefully, of this spectacular view of the golden horn and istanbul!!!
all in all, it was totally exhausting trip, and totally worth it.