We start the day early and cross the Golden Horn along the Halic bridge in the direction of the Fener neighbourhood to check out St Stephen Church.
St Stephen is a Bulgarian Orthodox church (better known as Demir Kilise, i.e. "Iron Church") - totally made of cast iron, a product of 19th-century experimentation with prefabricated iron churches. It combines neo-Gothic and neo-Baroque influences and has a richly ornamented exterior. If you watch the video you will hear dramatic music playing while I filmed the interior - this was the ACTUAL music that played inside during our visit!
The Fener / Balat area had a strangely bohemian feel to it, scattered with quaint artisanal shops, restaurants and galleries. It's an interesting stroll among the cobbled streets and we sat down when a friendly shop owner waved us in for some Turkish tea.
At the Eminönü pier, we purchased tickets for a ferry ride along the Bosphorus River. This turned out to be a wonderful and relaxing experience. Upon the return, we disembark at Karakoy terminal across the horn and
sample Turkish Pide at Halk Ekmek bakery.
Pide is usually shaped in an oval or "boat" or round shape and is commonly described as a Turkish pizza.
Making it all the way to Taksim Square we enjoyed the stroll back down the pedestrian Istiklal Street towards Beyoglu. A visit to Istiklal Street is an opportunity to experience the unique energy and spirit of Istanbul at its most organic. The street is the busiest in Istanbul and boasts shops with every product imaginable, cafes and restaurants, live music, bars, cinemas and much more.
By pure chance, we happened upon Belice Kebap and had the most amazing supper there. There's a reason this place has a high rating and you will love it too when you go there. If you're in Istanbul, and there's only one place you are going out to eat at, make sure it's Bilice. It'll be an unforgettable experience.