Second Day in Istanbul

Istanbul Travel Blog

 › entry 14 of 20 › view all entries
At the Hippodrome.

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. 

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At the Hippodrome.
At the Hippodrome.
A fountain gifted from Germany.
A fountain gifted from Germany.
The Blue Mosque.
The Blue Mosque.
St. Sophia Haggia
St. Sophia Haggia
Going into St. Sophia Haggia
Going into St. Sophia Haggia
Changing my fortune (i was doing t…
Changing my fortune (i was doing …
My mom is doing it right
My mom is doing it right
An old Turkish bath (we didnt go …
An old Turkish bath (we didn't go…
Aran bought us a pastry to try
Aran bought us a pastry to try
Turkish coffee
Turkish coffee
Going to the Grand Bazaar
Going to the Grand Bazaar
Lunching next to the pool
Lunching next to the pool
Afternoon tea (and ice cream)
Afternoon tea (and ice cream)
Istanbul
photo by: Memo