Istiklal Caddesi – Dinner, Churches, Some Fancy Arches and Consulates

Day 3: 12th April 2011


I suppose i ended the last note at the point when we just edged past the Galatasaray Lisesi. And after the yummy snack we picked up. The rest of the walk was filled with plenty of fun and lots of memorable photos. The walk ahead also had a lot of buildings with beautiful carvings and intelligent lighting.

In the midst of a chaotic shopping boulevard there was a black gate and inside lay a pink building which exuded calm and serenity. That was Church of St Anthony of Padova. We didn’t know it back then but we do now thatit is the biggest Roman Catholic Church  in Turkey. It seems this Church was built by Italian settlers in 1725 but later was demolished and then rebuilt at the same site.

The building was designed by the Istanbulite Levantino Italian architect Giulio Mongeri, who also designed many other important buildings in Istanbul and Ankara; such as the Maçka Palas (which houses Armani Café and Gucci) in Nişantaşı and the Neo-Byzantine style Karaköy Palas bank building in Karaköy (Galata), Istanbul; as well as the first headquarters of Türkiye İş Bankası in Ankara.

The inside of the Church was dark with a lot of purple lighting. It was said at some time that the reason so many rulers used to robe themselves in Purple was that the colour was considered Royal. (=Not bad, explains why i love purple, maybe i was a ruler in some pichhla janam…hmmm Raaz Picchle Janam Ka..Anyone??…Anyone???)

Alrite back to the Church. There were people lighting candles in little tranches on the side a la Mount Mary Church in Bandra. In all it was a very good feeling to go there.

Oh i forgot to mention about the incident while we were snapping oops clicking pictures of the sign saying “Istanbul Shopping Festival”. Like the mad photo clickkers we are, we went on snapping and then suddenly this guy walks up to me and says “Thank You”… forget the fact that he was a decent looking Turkish dude but i had literal question marks floating over my head a la Archie Comics Style.

Then i realised that he had seen me hold the camera and had posed. (=Who does that…….we only click pics when our cams are aimed….forget it)

As we walked deeper and deeper looking at a restaurant to grab a bite, the tummies kept growling louder and louder. There were bakeries, shops with beef kebaps and roast meat with lovely smells (=Again vegetarians please value your senses and stay away from the by lanes)

Then was the prank stop . Ah this roadside stall was the best memory from the whole trip. There was this great stall which had stuff like Magic Ink, Fake band aids, swords you could push thru your head etc along with the standard supply of bugs, beetles (=More keedas for people who already have a lot of keedas :P). Thats how i get a photo of me with a nail through my finger and the funny disguise.

The stall owner was cool enough to pose with us for a picture with the stuff he has on display. (=Turkish people are really nice!!! Makes me want to go back!!) The stall opposite to this one had something for me!! Earrings!!!! Awesome ones, rock bottom price after a lot of bargaining!!! (=Bargaining is always nice!!! And funnn to see the other person’s expression)

Finally the perfect dinner opportunity presented itself in the form of BBQ Chicken. This is the place that looked really decent and I thought would have good food. Turned out the food was delicious (=For once i won’t comment on the food!!) Plus the waiter was helpful.

Totally refreshed we touched Istiklal Caddesi again when we trudged our now tired feet to the part of the Boulevard where the Consulates started. And what a Grand Procession it was!!!!! Holland, Russia, Sweden in a row with their Palatial Consulates with superb lighting. I could just imagine working in a place like this. Which opened out to a Shopping Boulevard 😉

Finally the road curved and we reached the end of the route (=Or so we thought we didn’t explore further). There the tram services started to take us back to Taksim Square (=Where we’d seen the doggie with the Fashion Jacket!! I’m telling you,, we should drop what we’re doing and invest in grooming care for pets!!!)

The return journey to Taksim was fast, not to mention the slight delay because a drunkard got into our tram and was subsequently thrown out by the driver. The fare is not much and the ride pleasurable. Photos were clicking as we passed the big malls and the Clothes Stores and the Perfume Depts!! Also there were a few mosques that we passed. (=All done with brilliant lighting.)

And then finally a cab got us back to the Golden Horn, Sirkeci to 202/203 and to thus put a close toDAY 3

(=Phew they just keep getting longer don’t they!!)


sTAy Tuned for Day 4’s Masti





Sant’Antonio de Padova


WooHooo….hello, where’d the credit card go??





Holland’s Coat of Arms


Holland Palace




Scergie..Oops Sweden


The Palaces called Embassies









A shoe made of Shoes


The Perfume Store

Istiklal Caddesi-Shopping Boulevard like None Other

Day 3: April 12th 2011


This is the place we went to after we finished with a massive tour of Turkey via Miniaturk. After Miniaturk, we got some chocolates for the road and debated about taking a bus/cab to our next destination.

Every Country has one of those lanes filled with shops with gorgeous clothes and accessories which males think is their worst nightmare…(=:P Imagine, a credit card war…one chick trying to outdo the other…with the poor dude running behind wid a dozen bags!!)


Located in the historic Beyoğlu district, it is an elegant pedestrian street, approximately three kilometers long, which houses exquisite boutiques, music stores, bookstores, art galleries, cinemas, theaters, libraries, cafés, pubs, night clubs with live music, historical patisseries, chocolateries and restaurants.(=Believe me the chocolates are GOOD)

Soo this is the slightly more posh area (=Equated to umm say Walkeshwar with a shopping boulevard or Pali Hill etc etc).

When we took a cab from the Miniaturk we could sense that as we drove from Istanbul suburbs to the business boulevard and to Taksim Square.


There is only ONE way you can see IstiKLAL Caddesi, and that’s by tram…you can walk but that’s peasant like…live life King Size…Take the Tram

But like i said…”Hungry people don’t make good travellers and neither do they write ;)”

So we went to BURGER KING!!!! Umm vegetarians will not find some good grub in Chain stores like Mac/Pizza Hut/Burger King/BBQ Chicken…Its like they roam with signs saying “MEAT EATERS ONLY”

But..bUt and BUT…roadside stalls will gladly make u a doner with vegetables and fries so don’t lose that smile 😀

Alright the best part for us was that the Istanbul Shopping Festival was on which meant that a lot of shops were selling great stuff at super good discounts. Discount =Indirim in Turkish and in some places it was Big= Buyuk Indirim or Small = Kuchuk Indirim (=Damn cute na!! My cousin couldn’t stop laughing when we said that)

The first thing you need for shopping, Cash….which we changed in the change office. It was quite an interesting Change Office because the had old Turkish notes framed in the wall and had mentioned the exchange rate of the Turkish Lira vis-a-vis the USD and there were times when the Turkish economy was in a bad state and the exchange rate was 500TL for $1.

There was Accessorise, the uber cool store with accessories too expensive for people to buy..This one though had bags and chappals made in China and Stoles “Made in Mumbai, India” That was such a proud moment, seeing those 4 words 😀

We stopped at a Store and picked up a pair of jeans for my sis. That shop had the most awesome discounts with a lot of clothes going for under Rs 300 😀 😀 While we walked we saw the Greek Embassy. We realised that this street had buildings which were very well done with a lot of delicate carvings. We were also to realise that this street had many more embassies and also one of Turkey’s most famous educational Institutions.

You won’t believe how crowded this street is. There are so many people who use the boulevard, all of them who are really pretty. Oh one of the things i forgot to mention that at the entrance of Istiklal Caddesi there was a giant shoe, made of many many was a party slipper actually 🙂


There are several by lanes which lead us to many different spots i guess but we didn’t explore them. Also there were a lot of carts selling Kestane!!




But the best of the lot was the chocolate store that we went to which had been there since 1924..(=Talk About Old). It sold the yummiest chocolate with pistachios and hazelnuts. Plus there was white chocolate too!!! MMM..we did buy some btw!!

Next Up was..


Galatasaray Square is located at approximately the center of the avenue and is home to one of the finest educational institutions established in Turkey at the time of the Ottoman Empire;originally known as Galata Sarayı Enderun-u Hümayunu  now known as the and today known as Galatasaray Lisesi.

We suddenly came to this square where the boulevard widened..we looked and in front of us weremajestic iron gates and a huge, really huge palatial structure which is the Galatasaray Lisesi 🙂

There we saw a shop selling Simit (=bread with sesame). it not only has simits but a whole range of breads and pattisiere (=Yumm) and in all sorts of sizes with the most awesome glaze and chocolate drops!! And the icing was drop dead delicious looking..i said LOOKing,,we didn’t end up eating any though. There were also a range of sandwiches with varied fillings. A yumm stop.

A little ahead of it the boulevard continued again with an array of shops and Embassies of different countries, each with a more magnificent castle as their own. Also there was a church, some food, some wacky stuff, a ride back, and the night view…

But that’s of course another story

Stay Tuned!!

Flowers Everywhere


Independence Monument-Taksim


In Miniature!!


Tram-The Only Way of Travel


Haute Couture




OMG Wht the..


Istanbul Shopping Fest


Maviii ❤ Blueee

Goodbye Mysore-But we’ve only just arrived!!!!

19th April 2010, Mysore, Karnataka India.
The day dawned bright and clear when we were to leave from Mysore and proceed towards Bangalore. I guess there was a transition when we started out with villages and then made our way to towns and to cities and finally landed to Mumbai. Well we started our day with some Saree shopping. Mysore is famous for its sarees. Since we were to leave early when we went to search for the shops, none of them were open. I guess Mumbaiites are so used to the fast paced life, that w expect shops open as early as 8 and open till 11 at night or even later.So consequently any small city is a slow and sleepy place for us. But it feels very nice not having to rush against the crowd to catch that 9:36 Ladies Special or run for that irregular bus. Finally we found one shop which was open. So we went inside and asked the shopkeeper for something ‘different’ which was not very loud and audacious. After lots of sarees and rejections later we settled for a few and then bargained our way to get a good deal. The shopkeeper had a lot of currency notes which he had framed near the entrance. I really felt like negotiating and taking some of the notes. After that we made our way to the Government silk factory. Here you could also go into the factory and see how the sarees were made. There was also a shop where you could buy sarees. But the sarees here were extremely pricey (=silk sarees authentic and govt recognised=sky high prices) i’m sure the sarees must have been nice but since we(=me,mum n my sister) don’t have many occasions to wear sarees, spending so much was out of question.

Next we decided to pick up some sweets. Mysore is also famous for its sweets. We knew this from prior knowledge. There was this shop we’d seen in the show ‘Highway on My Plate’ hosted by ‘Rocky and Mayur’. I absolutely love watching that show i mean whenever i’m watching it i’m envying their job. Eating and only Eating!!! But the best part is that they give very honest opinions about the food and the ‘Must Haves’ plus they look like foodies not like those half starved models that come and pretend to eat and take minuscule bites.
A word of caution, there are as many as 3-4 Bombay Tiffany’s in the boulevard where these shops are located. But finally we found one which Rocky n Mayur visited. We also asked them about this and they said they had just opened shop when they came along camera et al. Without any prior warning!!! So we left with a lot of Mysore Paa which is besan and sugar mixed in Pure Ghee. You can make the difference when you eat, pure ghee has a satiety no other substitute has, We also picked up a mithai that tasted like chocolate fudge. During that time, my dad was busy solving the rubix that we picked up when we went to the Chamundeshwari temple. He got one side right. After that we left for Bnagalore. We’d heard that the next roop of Satya Sai Baba was going to be born somewhere in Srirangapatnam a few kms off Bangalore. So we decided to stop there.
There was one place where they had put up a sign with Baba’s picture on it but it turned out that it was only a school managed by the trust.

Although we spent less time in Mysore, the city made an everlasting impact on our minds. The canopy of trees on every road, the ease of travel, the many palaces so very well maintained, definitely made us want to come again!!!!

Coming Up Next: Srirangapatnam and Sights on the Way
Where we were staying in Mysore.Wodeyar Circle..that dome is made of real gold.The perfect Rubix