I had been dying to visit the Anatolian side of Istanbul since my arrival, and clear skies on Sunday finally made it possible. So we took a ferry, leaving from the mouth of the Golden Horn and sailing up and across to the lovely area around Üsküdar.
The Hagia Sophia is a spectacular conglomeration of church, mosque, and buttresses that sits like a massive tortoise opposite the blue mosque. Inside, many of the original decorations need restoration, but the grandeur of the site is undeniable.
Gül Baba (Rose Father) was a famous Ottoman poet who lived in Buda during the late 1500s. When he died, he was buried on top of a hill just north of castle hill, in a lovely octagonal tomb surrounded by rose gardens. The tomb itself actually belongs to the Republic of Turkey, but it’s open to visitors needing a break from the city (or in my case, studying for finals).
The rose gardens themselves are small but spectacular.
Lehel Market, in the northeastern section of central Pest, is one of my favorite markets. You can get everything there, and it’s very economical.
The meat counters. In the bottom left corner, you can see two people eating lángos, the delicious fried dough of Hungary. I could smell it from where I was standing.
The main market hall, where fruits and vegetables are sold. Unlike the big market, this one is mostly full of people from Budapest.