At a Short Glance – Mosque visit procedures , finer restaurants etc
* Procedures to visit Blue Mosque
No admission at prayer time , they close the visitor’s door half an hour prior to the prayer, open it up half an hour fllowing the prayer. So find out the prayer times before you get there.
You may use translate.google.com.tr/ page to translate the link I gave that is in Turkjish. Though the tranalation lacks; Correction : The morning prayer is begins at dawn , finishes with the Sun (rise ) .
* Summer time with the crowd of the cruiseship passengers morning visits are painful, long cues. Best time to visit would be late late afternoon; most 8 hours tours end by 5 pm ; and by 4 pm most tours are finished with Blue Mosque.
Go see Suleymaniye Mosque, most tours miss it and it is superior to Blue Mosque.
Go see Sokullu Mosque; it is the most impressive mosque visit for a visitor to Istanbul, in regards to aauthentic mosque visit. The difference between a visit to this mosque and the other larger more famous mosques will be like looking at Spoonmaker’s Diamond of Topkapi Palace behind the glass of the display case as opposed to holding bunch of attractive diamonds to get one, or watching a documentary on tv versus going there and actually seeing it ( this applies less to going to Cairo and seeing the pyramids, with the invasion of tourists on documentaries they look more charming, so is Blue Mosque ( yet still you will enjoy seeing it for yourself ) .
Procedures to visit Sakirin Mosque of Asiatic Istanbul
Unlike the Blue Mosque info above; a visitor can visit non touristy neighborhood mosques even during prayer time; provided you are dressed properly; no shorts, headcover for women / though if you do not have it most mosques provide one; since a number of Turkish woman visitors also need to borrow one from the mosque, the mosques are used to proved one.
Try to avoid weekends for Sakirin Mosque, it gets too crowded; if you have your own car, during the week there is easy free parking next to the mosque, within the cemetery ground.
Advise : It is better to put the scarf on as soon as you get close to the gate into the courtyard of the mosque especially in conservative districts like Eyup, that is more proper.
Sakirin Mosque is on the grounds of a cemetery, frequently a funeral ceremony takes place , the rear courtyard is where it takes place. There will be a number of sad visitors. Wearing a scarf , accompanied by kids there would be reasons to make a small joke and so a small laughter may take place:
This is the place to be more careful, not a place to make a joke. A small smile is just fine.
If you do not have a car take the kadikoy or Uskudar ferry. If you do not intend to visit Kadikoy, prefer Uskudar with a stop at the courtyard of Mihrimah Mosque across the pier.
Dining in Asiatic Istanbul
Sakirin Mosque visit should be combined with a Kadikoy non touristy walking street market; produce, fish, veggies, fine dining ( Ottoman Fehmi, and undeservingly famous Ciya are here . In Ciya , the no more fresh – had been simmering small pide ( turkish pizza ) varieties are to be avoided, the copy paste – many similar in cooking style to one another veggy meals ( we call them pan meals ) are fairly fine, the appetizers are , ehh. I like the larger selection and freshness and steam from the meals at Canak of Acibadem district of Kadikoy much much better. Ciya simply fails when they need to microwave heat or reheat the getting cold meals. Visitors need more accurate advise then the fancy commercials dressed as news cheating them. Canak makes its own bread , they have a real large capable kitchen. Ciya does not. That makes the initial difference.
Top of the line best Baklava & Sobiyet experience is also at Canak ( that is at Hamdi near Spice Market in European Istanbul ) ; on the contrary to the fame of Gulluoglu of Karakoy which is just fine; the difference is attentiveness to the few trays of Baklava to be consumed on the same day versus tons of trays for large scale marketing.
Develi Kebab restaurant http://www.develikebap.com/KalamisFotografGalerisi.aspx at Kalamis Marina is also a fine experience. They also make and serve fresh out of bread sesami dressed pide or puf bread like Canak.
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