Second Day in Istanbul
Istanbul Travel Blog› entry 14 of 20 › view all entries
Another beautiful sunrise. Maybe it's only because I'm on vacation and taking the time to enjoy the sunrises, but they have been absolutely spectacular on this trip. We had to get up early today because our tour was starting at 8:20am. We met Aran and soon we were off to the Hippodrome - which was the site of an ancient auditorium or colloseum - now it's basically a park with some obelisks in the middle. A bit disappointing really, but it was impressive that the old Egyptian obelisk still looked brand new. Our second stop was St. Sophia Hagia - a cathedral converted to a mosque and now a museum. It was beautiful and there were remnants of amazing mosaics and frescoes depicting the virgin mary and christ that were wonderfully preserved - mainly because they had been covered in plaster when the cathedral was converted to a mosque.
Our next stop was a carpet demonstration where we tasted turkish coffee and apple tea while they tried to sell us carpets. Again, I'm such an easy target and I bought a silk rug - but I don't regret it! It was beautiful! I plan to frame it and put it in my bedroom. Afterwards we walked to the Grand Bazaar where Aran left us to our own devices for a couple of hours. Of course we bargained and shopped like mad! My mom was really becoming a pro by this point.
We returned to the ship around 1:30 and we were starving. We headed up to poolside and had burgers and fries and onion rings - good, but not healthy or friendly to the tummy. To ease my guilt, I went to work out and then fell asleep in the spa. Watched another cheezy movie - High School Musical 3 - and then off to dinner - escargot (good), french onion soup (good, but a tad salty) and roast duckling (amazing). Our dinner neighbors were John and Anna, retired business professors from Illinois - actually I think John was the dean there. We had a great conversation with them about traveling, art, politics, etc. I really enjoyed meeting them and hope I'm still traveling when I'm their age.