Istanbul In A Mile Marker Day

We are happily house sitting in one of our favorite cities in the world, Brussels Belgium.  Before we arrived for the third time in my beer capital, we had a cultural and adventurous mini trip.  We got the chance to visit the Middle East and the northern part of Africa.  Then we jumped over to Greece for a few days and then to Istanbul, Turkey.  During and after our time in Istanbul, we looked at each other and both agreed Istanbul was in the top three places we have explored.  So what can you see in a day of walking around in one of Turkey’s largest cities?  Well here we go ;D

One of the face mask's at Mama's Shelter

One of the face mask’s at Mama’s Shelter

Rachel as always looks out for me and hooked me up with a great place to stay for my birthday.  The Mama’s shelter or hotel is like a comic strip with DC and Looney Tune face masks and writing on the ceilings.  The walls are covered with art-deco and the carpets have a great design.  When we got to Mama’s and walked in the front lobby area, I was wondering how this visit was going to be.  However, once we got the elevator up to the fourth floor and were able to saw the reception desk through the glass elevator doors, I was like – cool!!

I want to say thank you to Tolga, super cool guy that helped us and helped make my birthday fantastic.  He brought up some turkish delights and drew a happy birthday message on the mirror – 😀

Pistachio Baklava

Pistachio Baklava

Just outside Mama’s you can find some delicious delights that if given just a short amount of time would fill your heart with love and your buns too.





Good thing we had a long walk up and down the city streets to work off some of the food we only looked at during our daily journey.  We both knew we had to put some rubber down if we wanted to get to all of the places we wanted to see.  We set out to find a bus to ride around the city, but we never made it on one because sometimes you have to see the site first hand.

Fishing off the bridge

Fishing off the bridge

So we made our way through shopping district to one of the bridges that contacted to the two parts of Istanbul.  To be honest with you, I was quite excited to see all these guys fishing.  I love fishing and used to go fishing every time I could when I was younger, but that is another story.  I wanted to see what they were catching, look at their tackle and ask a million questions – time is not always your friend, so off we walked.  😀

On the other side of the bridge we walked around a beautiful mosque and caught sight of the spice bazaar.  As we walked into the spice bazaar – once again Rachel looked at me with a big smile and I figured we would be spending some time in here.

Honestly, I felt like I was in a jewelry store but for candy.  The way the lights reflect off this food is amazing, seriously I think they use a different colored bulb or maybe the fruits and delights are just that yummy looking.  So everyone is your friend in a bazaar and once we stepped into one little booth well we were family for a minute or two while we spent some money on spices, dried soups and rubs.  We don’t buy very much stuff while we travel.  The rule is: you buy it you carry it.  When it comes to food and things we use then we have room for those items and it makes life going from place to place just a little bit more comfortable.  And of course, I can’t tell Rachel no don’t make me food – no stop feeding me great food no no no – I mean I have to as a husband support the gifts of my beloved. 😀

This was a must see while in Istanbul.  I had to for myself and for the Jordan Intrepid group.  We had a great time playing “Landmark” Charades and one of the places/landmarks was Hagia Sophia which I got and didn’t know the place.  I would love to say I know everything but as you venture from place to place you learn that the world is full of all kinda of places you may have never heard of in your lifetime.  The Hagia Sophia should have been on my list of places to see but well there is no excuse.  Anyway, we have seen it now and I have to say – worth it!!!!!  Thank you group for giving us this knowledge.  😀

This museum is beautiful and filled with mosaics, decorated walls and ceiling and simply outstanding.  There is an entry fee and guys willing to help you spend your money to give you a private tour.  But all you need is to open your eyes and look around to see the love put into this incredible building.

Just outside of Hagia Sophia there is a fountain and on the other side is the Blue Mosque.  We couldn’t have walked this far and not went to see the Blue Mosque.  It was getting cold and I really didn’t want to take my shoes off but wanting to see inside took away my feeling of cold feet.  We made our way around the building, up the stairs and took our shoes off.  After placing them in little plastic bags, we walked into the mosque.  Wow is about the only way to describe the walls and ceilings.  I did get a few photos but after looking at them, they just didn’t do this place of worship justice.  So I guess if you find yourself in Istanbul, you’ll just have to take your shoes off and see for yourselves.  😀

After we straighten our necks out from looking up for the last hour or so we started making our way back to Mama’s Shelter.  By this time my little trooper of a wife was getting tired, but she has the heart of a lion and we made it back but had to made a few window shopping stops.

Window Eye Candies :D

Window Eye Candies :D

Istanbul is a must see and had jumped up on the places we will travel to again.  People and food make a place great – Istanbul had them both.  We will miss you Turkey.

Until next time – Safe Travels, Happy Journeys and Amazing Adventures,

Steve and Rachel – aka – The Traveling Mile Markers



  1. Wonderful post!! We’ve always wanted to visit Istanbul and it’s definitely on our list for the Spring. As much as we love culture and learning though, the highlight for the kids will be the incredible number of choices for Turkish Delights and other treats you’ve shared here. Glad you had a fantastic birthday!

    • Hey Deena,

      So glad you liked the post!! When you guys get to Istanbul, you love it! It has been so fun watch your traveling and see all of your adventures. Keep us posted and we will do the some 😀


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