For the next day in Istanbul, we decided to stay in the Balat area, where the rental house was located. Before breakfast, I headed out into the street for some exploration. Our rental house was located near the top of a steep street, where I made this image.
Apartment In Balat, Istanbul
Balat is an old area of Istanbul. There is a mixture of dilapidated houses, that are gradually deteriorating, and houses that have been remodeled and renovated. The really old houses have some interesting textures, as can be seen in this image, where plaster had fallen off the wall to reveal underlying brickwork.
Wall Texture And Window, Balat
Making my way down the steep street, I encountered the colorful flower boxes along one storefront.
Flower Boxes, Balat
Like many cities around the world, this area is becoming increasingly more gentrified. These three houses, in Kiremit Street, are typical of the remodeled houses in Balat.
Kiremit Street Houses, Balat
Another street was lined with black bollards to keep cars off the sidewalk.
Balat Street In The Morning
I eventually returned to the top of street, above the rental house, where I encountered several other early risers who had hit the streets.
Street Scene, Balat
After breakfast, we decided to do some shopping in the nearby stores. While making our way there, we stopped at the Fatih Mosque. This is, perhaps, one of the most beautiful mosques in Istanbul. The main worship area has lighting located about 10 feet above the floor. In this image, I captured the fabulous domed ceilings that had chains that suspended the lights.
Suspension Chains From Ceiling, Fatih Mosque
This mosque also had a huge red carpeted floor. The carpet included intricately detailed designs that can be seen in the following image.
Carpeted Floor, Fatih Mosque
Passing by the main entrance, I made the following image of the mosque’s courtyard, where ablution facilities are located.
Looking Out Of Fatih Mosque
Like many of the Turkish mosques, the heavy doors were decorated with geometric designs.
Main Entrance Door, Fatih Mosque
After exiting the mosque through the main entrance, I stopped by the ablution fountain to make this image.
Ablution Fountain, Fatih Mosque
The mosque had many domes that were included in the design of the roofs around the courtyard. At the peak of the dome, is an ornament, usually golden in color. I am sure that these dome ornaments have a name, but I have not yet found reference to this in various internet searches. I made this image that included the roof line with ornament against the blue sky.
Dome Roof Ornament, Fatih Mosque
Leaving the mosque, we made our way to the stores. Some of the stores are really specialized. In this image, the vendor only sells dates. These have been harvested from various areas and countries around the middle east.
Date Street Vendor, Istanbul
The Turks are really enterprising people. In this image, one can get knives sharpened in the street. This vendor had setup his grindstones on a cart in the street. That guy in the orange shirt was amused by my interest in making photographs of the knife grinder!
Sharpening Knives, Istanbul
During the afternoon, we made our way down the streets of Balat. We found these two chidren enjoying a ride in the steep streets. They were fortunate that there were few cars in the area to spoil there enjoyment!
Children Enjoying Downhill Ride, Balat
We also passed this one really steep street, lined with really coloful houses.
Colorful Houses On Steep Street, Balat
At the bottom of the street, Susan and Warwick found a cat sleeping on the porch roof above a doorway.
Susan And Warwick, And Cat, Balat
This cat was the source of interest!
The Cat, Balat
Susan and Angela visited the Turkish baths, while Warwick and I walked through the streets. One interesting building house the “Hobbit House” that serves breakfast.
Balat Hobbit House
Here is another street scene that we found in Balat, where these two guys were chatting out in a street full of colorful houses.
Balat Street Scene
Further along the same street, we arrived at back of the Hobbit House, when I found several bikes parked on the sidewalk.
Bikes Behind Hobbit House, Balat
After meeting up with Angela and Susan, we all went for dinner at one of the local restaurants that had been recommended by our landlord.