Walking through the Gate of Edirne.
11.08.2012 - 02.08.2012
Istanbul, August 27th 2012
Intending to find the synagogue mentioned on my map, I walked through the Gate of Edirne, or Edirnekapi. Right behind this gate is a city bus terminal. The buses were different than the ones that ran the main street on the other side of the wall. These buses where kind of minibuses. I assume they go to more remote areas.
Next to the minibus terminal were shops and a few restaurants. "FOTOKOPi" I understand that must be Turkish. But that reminds me of the copy centers in my home country in the rather remote areas. They put "FOTOKOPI" on the shop sign as a free Indonesian translation for "photo copy" although "fotokopi" is not a regular Indonesian word.
I had had a simple warm experience here. I wanted to exchange cameras from my backpack. So I laid my backpack on one of the tables outside a restaurant. You know, that round table with an umbrella above, designed especially for dining outdoors. It wasn't meal time and the restaurant was quiet.
When I had just got my things sorted, the restaurant owner came out. I thought he disproved me using his table while I didn't dine at his restaurant. In a hurriedly I zippered up my backpack and took it up from the table.
To my surprise, I heard the owner sounded a bit shock. "It's alright! Have a seat!" -- in English. Stunned, I looked at him. I saw a warm sincere smile. Unforgettable.
This, on the other side of the street. Why do the doors / windows on first floor have no glass? An unfinished building? Under construction?
No signs of a synagogue, still. But of a bath house. Yeah, Turkey is famous for her bath houses.
This is the sign next to the door, in Turkish and in English. I copy for you the English version, in case the photo is difficult to read.
MIHRIMAH SULTAN TURKISH BATH (1562-1565) The daughter of Kanuni Sultan Suleyman and Hurrem Sultan: Mihrimah sultan, had made Mimar Sinan to construct 2 mosques and a kulliye (Islamic ottoman social complex) at Edirne board gate and at Uskudar. The Mihrimah Sultan Ottoman Bath is one of the sections of the Kulliye at Edirne Mihrimah Sultan Mosque. According to some records it was constructed by Mimar Sinan between the years 1562-1565 as a dual-bath and was constructed in a common way of those days. This bathroom has a great role for the culture of Turkish Baths.
To be noted, Mimar Sinan is a celebrated Turkish architect. His concept was said to have inspired the architecture of Taj Mahal.
I continued walking, tried the alleyways, and wearied myself off . Sure enough, Istanbul is a hilly city. In this picture, it might not be as obvious. I wanted to show the path that went down, down, down. Usually when I explore a place, I let my happy feet bring to wherever they are happy to. This time, each time I thought about entering a road, before my happy but weary feet, I let my brain calculate how I would return. Would the way back be going uphill? How far and how steep? In my previous post about the Theodosian Walls, there was a description about the Gate of Edirne: You get to the sixth highest hill of Istanbul when you enter from this gate. Sixth highest hill! I doubt that no less.
As I walked down the road, I was thrilled one more time. Small windows beside my ankle! When I was a kid, I saw a movie with a scene like this. (Hmmm, I should have taken a picture of the window.) Much of the first level of the house is actually in the basement. Thus, the window of the first level appears like lying on the ground. In that movie, the lady came home and before entering the house, she kicked the snow that covered her window so that she could see through the window. I was very fascinated. How can a window be at one's ankle?? Now, I'm seeing such windows for real! I will be thrilled another more time if I get the chance to kick snow from a windowsill next to my ankle.
This alleyway which is not on a slide is made use as a market.
Here's a bit more close up. I was fascinated only by the sizes of the vegetables, but also of the colors. Fruits and vegetables here have very bright colors. I couldn't believe they were real.
I took this picture discretely while placing G12 on my hip. However, this fruit vendor seemed to be aware of me taking pictures. Sorry, Sir.
Back on the main road. I had given up of finding the synagogue.
Needless to say, I love bread. Looks so yummy.
At a nearby shop I bought a bottle of ice mineral water for half a lira, half the price than the one at Sultanahmet Park. The shopkeeper could speak English. I was so weary that I drank the whole bottle in one sitting. In Turkey, I need not to worry about doing business, should I?