Photography Day 6: Istiklal and Taksim Square

 New lamps for old!
We came across this man selling lamps in Karaköy

No visit to Istanbul is complete without taking time to stroll down Istiklal Caddesi (Independence Street). It was once known as Grande Rue de Pera, home of foreign embassies and fashionable shops, but was renamed in 1928 to commemorate the 1923 conclusion of the Turkish War of Independence. Today, it is definitely the place to be seen, judging from the hoards of people walking up and down its almost 3km length, so it was imperative that Jerry should include this on his itinerary.

The funicular that travels from Karaköy to Istiklal Caddesi

We took the ferry from Kadiköy to Karaköy, and headed for Tünel, the funicular that would take us up the steep hill to Istiklal. Tünel opened in 1875, and is the third oldest underground system, after London and New York. It is not a long journey, as the Tunnel is only 573 metres long! Once at the top, we began our walk along Istiklal. The first thing we saw was the vintage tram, that rattles up and down between Tünel and Taksim Square, usually with a bevy of young boys hanging off the back.

The vintage tram that travels along Istiklal.
It had stopped for some reason, so people were posing 
for photographs next to it

There are always crowds, promenading up and down Istiklal

We came across this street performer...

... and a man selling Turkish ice-cream, called dondurma.
Turkish ice-cream is an acquired taste. It is made from powdered
orchid roots, milk, sugar and mastic (a tree resin),
and is rather chewy and glutinous.

We stopped off for a typical Turkish lunch. I had chicken kebab....

...followed by Aşure, also known as Noah's Pudding 

We finally reached the end of Istiklal, and came to Taksim Square, often referred to as the "symbolic heart" of Istanbul.  It is there that the Independence Monument stands, a testament to the achievements of Kemal Ataturk, founder of the present day Republic of Turkey.

One side of the monument depicts Ataturk the soldier...

...and the other side shows Ataturk the Statesman.

Of course, this is only a fraction of the photos I took that day. Istanbul is very photogenic, and I will never tire of it. I hope Jerry enjoyed the day as much as I did!

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