Second day on our holiday, it was pouring down. Good thing my husband plans as much as he does because we each had our raincoats on unlike some of the locals and a lot of the tourists who seem to be running from one sheltered area to the next. We decided to go a little further out on tram and metro to get to our desired destination – Taksim Square and it honestly didn’t look like much at all (probably because we ended up going quite early in the morning following Jana’s waking up/eating times) it’s when we started walking down istiklal street that things got interesting. It was the Oxford circus of istanbul. It had all sorts of clothes, shoes, makeup stores you could think of lined up next to turkish kebab and doner joints. There were rows of flag bunting hung on the street from the very recent election that took place on the weekend that we arrived. A coalition government might be forming for the first time in thirteen years with the AK Party holding major votes but still not enough to form government on its own.
As we descended and went further along the street, the flashy stores and wide street was replaced with smaller cobblestone sloped streets and some very fancy music shops. Even the souvenir shops seemed a little fancy, not like the tacky over crowded ones you can find in London perhaps. They had all sorts of turkish delight, beautiful paintings of the whirling dervishes, turkish hamam soaps and mits, fez hats and the streets were just so clean. Our hotel concierge recommended we walked all the way down istiklal street until we get to the gelato tower.
There were a series of ascending slopes leading all the way to the tower. Once we got there I assumed there would be no way to get to the top as the building seemed quite old, so I decided to wait outside with the pushchair while my husband scoped out the place. He came back minutes later saying they had a lift to take us to the top! You can see the Bosphorous sea, bridge, the old city, Europe side and asia and a lot more. Great for a panoramic shot. We didn’t want to take Jana on the actual outside ledge of the tower for obvious reasons so again I decided to sit and wait in the restaurant on the top floor of the tower so my husband could go first. I had already sat down with Jana on the tables provided only later realising that they don’t allow you to sit on them unless you order something too! You just have to wait around with your baby I guess. The staff were a little rude about it as well. We didn’t leave until my husband had his say first though.