Istanbul - stones and tulips

Tired of watching me shopping?
I've got something else for you! Way too many pictures of old stones, flowers and weird clothes!

Because the dance festival Rakkas Istanbul is in a part of Istanbul that's quite a distance from Beyoglu, I decided that it would be better to book a different hotel for the second part of the week in Aksaray, close to the metro station.

My friend Mona who by coincidence chose the same week for her trip to Istanbul joined me for my third attempt at walking along the old city wall, the "Theodosian Walls" - this time from the middle down to the sea.

We started at the Topkapi metro station which is located right beside the wall. For clarification of the following text : when I write "inside" the wall I mean the part closer to the city - "outside" is where Istanbul used to end, the part where foreign armies would come from and try to conquer Constantinople. Since of course the reason for building a big wall is always protection from the enemy!
For those of you who want more history facts: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walls_of_Constantinople

Nowadays "outside" is the area of flowers, cemeteries and big streets because "inside" is mostly densly populated.



Posing with flowers




This is actually where I started my walk last year - but that time I walked towards the north: http://meissoun.blogspot.ch/2013/08/istanbul-getting-away-from-people-and.html


Dwarf tulips - they hardly come out of the soil

April is officially "Istanbul's Month of the Tulip"!


Gym in the park!


Urban farming - along quite a big part of the wall's outside
There are several doors to enter the city. Always one inside and one outside of the wall.
I wonder why they are so small now, they obviously used to be bigger!


Large cemetery




Flower shop

Another door 

Inside the wall

Looking out

Broken glass on the wall's floor...

...where it is opposite the football Stadion




Fig tree

One of the few chambers with an intact ceiling and nothing growing out of it

Olympic roundabout

Down the wall again


House for sale!

Outside the fort

Street dog shelter - those dogs where very relaxed
On the opposite side there were also some dogs in cages
I see the sea
Tulip park
Tulips in all shapes and sizes!

Tulip bulbs  in stone. Learn more about why they are so important here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulip
Walking back along the sea
Freighters
Snack stop
Ready to smoke. One could already sense that the parks along the shore would be crowded on this nice evening.
Flowers everywhere!
Another fort
The not so scenic part of our walk
Back in Laleli. Don't worry, we didn't go shopping - all the goods here are wholesale only, for the Russian market. But they are fun to look at! And sometimes a bit scary...
Kids World - an entire building for children's clothes
Now this is... "different"...
With a window like this you don't need drugs - some of those wheels were actually turning for an even more psychedelic effect!
Flower power
We support the idea of big size models - but somehow this just looks wrong...
All these shoes and I can't have any of them! Wholesale only.
Finally I dropped off Mona at her hotel which was just a short walk away from ours.
On my way home I passed through a small bazaar.

More clothes...

And a nice cafe in the center


Despite having walked around for 6,5 hours I was surprisingly fresh that evening.