After our first visit to the Hagia Sophia, we walked up the hill and through Gulhane Park. It’s a peaceful and lovely public space, and I was enchanted by the paths lined with very tall plane trees, some of which had wild parrots living in them, the flower beds laid out in geometric designs, and the stone lions ‘for riding.’ We walked through to the other end for a snack at the Kandil Kafe on top of the hill overlooking the Bosporous. We took in the gorgeous view of the intersection of the Golden Horn, the Bosporous and Sea of Marmara while enjoying the samovar tea service in an double decker copper teapot. We shard a ‘mixed potato’ – a local specialty consisting of a large baked potato with a multitude of toppings – as a snack.
We returned to visit the park on our last day, to take some photos, so Dan could record the afternoon call to prayer.