The Kadirga Mansion has three apartments; one on ground floor, second on mezzanine and the third on first floor. Each apartment has a bedroom, a living room and a bathroom. Our apartment was also pretty with plants on the windows, Turkish lamps and a filled bookshelf. The windows opened to a park on the other side of the road and a police station right next to it. The apartment had all the facilities; from hot running water to cooking utensils to fridge, hairdryer and other household appliances. An interesting observation is that there was an air-conditioner as well as a heater depicting the extreme weathers of Istanbul.
The only negative thing about the apartment was that the floors were wooden and we could hear the guests on the first floor when they walked, dropped anything or even when they laughed. I am sure the people on the ground floor were feeling even worse, since my daughter kept banging stuff against the floor.
After settling our luggage, we went out in search of Turkish food and some place to visit. There is a restaurant – Emran Restaurant – on the same road that is famous for its doner kebap – yeah, that’s how they spell kababs – and among the tourists. We ordered a chicken gravy and a beef doner and settled the baby – who was enjoying the whole thing a lot – at the table. The chicken came with a yummy gravy, vegetables and sticky rice… even my baby loved it!
After the lunch, we headed towards Sultanahmat mosque – commonly known as The Blue Mosque – located at Sultanahmet Square, a 20-minutes-walk away from Kadirga Road. The walk included really steep roads. When we reached the square, the sun was shining bright and the number of tourists present was overwhelming, even at this time of the year. We decided to visit the mosque first and then visit Hagia Sophia. We didn’t know at that point that we were being too ambitious.
Right outside the main door of the mosque, there was a vendor selling corn. It was such a good thing to know that corn is famous in other cultures than Pakistan too. When we were buying that corn – three liras each – we didn’t know it will become a daily norm for us for the next few days. The corn is a must try if you are ever in Istanbul. It was the juiciest and yummiest corn I have ever had in my life!
We entered the main courtyard of the mosque where we were strictly informed by a random guy that the visitors should enter the mosque from the door on the right, and also that we should hurry since there were only five minutes left till the closing time of visitors’ hours. I wondered how he guessed that we were visitors; nonetheless, we took a few photos there and went to the door he mentioned. There my confusion got cleared when I saw a sign regarding the dress code for entering the mosque. A long shirt with a scarf attached to it made of really cheap synthetic material was shoved into my hand by the staff and I was told to wear since skinny jeans weren’t allowed inside.
We parked the stroller – it wasn’t allowed either – and went inside where we were given plastic bags to put our shoes in. My husband kept on making fun of me in the gown and scarf, it was really hideous so if any of you plans to visit the mosque, please wear a lose skirt with a loose top and take a scarf along. It was really disgusting and my husband enjoyed my situation a lot and took many photos.
While we were there, we saw a bride in white and her groom who were having their photo-shoot done. Suddenly I realized that my baby had soiled her pamper, so we rushed out of the mosque and changed her – which is a completely new story in itself.
After this, we decided to not to do any more adventures and headed back to our little haven. Once there, the baby and I were too tired to even go out for dinner, so we showered and changed and snuggled in the bed whereas my husband decided to go out and make use of Istanbul’s most authentic hamam – which was just two shops away from us. According to him, it was an amazing experience and one can easily get used to this luxury.