Balkans 2016 – Day 7 : Playing tourist at Edirne

As a former Ottoman Empire capital, Edirne is full of historic sites and culture. The city is replete with its architectural works like inns, mosques, historic bazaars and historic hammams. The city also borders with Greece and Bulgaria and these countries can be reached within minutes. You could have breakfast in Turkey, lunch in Bulgaria and dinner in Greeece all in one day !

I will stay here for two days to enjoy what Edirne and its friendly and welcoming people has to offer. 

Today I will spend sometime visiting the city center where most of the historical sites are at.  I started my sight seeing first at the magnificent Selimiye Mosque a UNESCO heritage site built in 1575. It is one of the most important Ottoman architecture. Amazingly this huge complex took only 6 years to build. 

After a quick bite of fried liver which Edirne is famous for, I headed for the next gem which just across the road. The Eski Mosque is even older. Built in 1414 although smaller in comparison with Selimiye it’s no less stunning. After that I moved on to the covered bazaar around there for a look see. The stuff they sell doesn’t really interest me.

After that I decided to goto a Turkish bath and give it a try. The one that I went to is one of the oldest one called Sokullu bathhouse. It was built in 1435 and is operational since then. As I approached the entrance I was hailed by an elderly man and invited me to sit with him for tea. as I sat down the man was joined by the owner and we started our banter in all sorts of language just to communicate. The gentlemen that hailed me spoke some German as he worked there before. He showed me a missing finger due to an industrial accident he experienced while working in Gerrmany. S0 with my mono syllable juvenile German I tried my best to communicate with them. I guess it was ok and all had a great chat and enjoyed each other’s company. 

The bathhouse experience was also just as great. It s really something walking into something so ancient and also experience what folks in those times experienced. The masseur that was taking care of me had a huge scar on his chest in what look like a by pass operation. I found out from our non verbal gestures that the he had a triple bypass with veins taken from his leg and hands. 

After that I completed the city tour with a visit to the third historic mosque in the city. I am actually quite puzzled why these huge mosques are built so close to each other.

I headed back to rest after a fullfiling day in the city and get ready for the next activity. Engin and I will cycle into Greece which is just 8KM away and have dinner there and back. Thank you Engin for a fantastic and unforgettable nite out in Greece. The food was fantastic and the company was super. It was a great closing to a superpacked day. 

Taking the bus to city center. 2.5TL
The magnificent Selimiye Mosque.

Inside Selimiye Mosque
Central courtyard of Selimiye
Central courtyard of Selimiye
Inside Selimiye Mosque
Beautiful dome of Selimiye
Inside Eski Mosque
Inside Eski Mosque
Exterior Eski Mosque
Eski Mosque
Had a wonderful encounter with these gentlemen at the emtrance of the Soluku Hamam
Your personal cabin for changing and relaxing.
Edirne’s oldest bathhouse

Author: krankster

I am an avid cyclist that loves mountain biking, bike commuting and most of all bicycle touring. I am a freelance leadership coach and hope to inspire others through my cycling adventures.

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