Wonders of Ottoman Turkey - day 24
Istanbul Travel Blog› entry 29 of 57 › view all entries
Luckily I heal well, so other than a small band aid on my upper lip, I’ve recovered from yesterday’s accident in the bathroom. I would have gone on the tour of Istanbul even if I’d had to wear mummy wrappings. Seeing Istanbul again is worth the price of a little pain or embarrassment over a bandaged lip. I’m really looking forward to sailing into Istanbul at sunrise.
Our ship is escorted into Istanbul by a family of dolphins swimming alongside and then an air squadron of geese falls into formation overhead. I feel properly welcomed back into town. We had first visited Istanbul in 1992 but that was almost 20 years ago and I want to see everything again.
I caused a stir at the entrance to Topkapi when we walked past a grade school tour group and one little boy, practicing his English on an obviously English-speaking tourist, said “Hello” to me. I said “Hello” back and asked if he spoke English. He said he was learning and asked where I was from. He was so cute and polite that I gave him one of the embroidered patches from NASA that I carry as small gifts and told him I was from Florida.
We had lunch at the restaurant in Topkapi looking out over the water and then went to the Covered Market for shopping. I love the flair and ceremony of a Turkish carpet demonstration. First you are seated in a large upstairs room and served tea or some highly alcoholic liquor and then the demonstration begins. The tutorial about various carpet types and materials is illustrated by unrolling carpets of many patterns and colors across the floor.
After my husband has reached a deal on the rug and I have shown no interest in buying jewelry, we join up and wander through the rest of the market. I’ve been taking photos all day and am on visual overload by now so we go back to the ship to prepare for a special dinner we had booked months in advance.
At sunset, we are going by launch to the Maiden’s Tower for a Turkish dinner. The Maiden’s Tower is on a small island in the Bosporus Strait and has European Istanbul on one shore and Asiatic Istanbul on the other.
Afterward, all I can say is the view was even better than I thought it would be. Dinner wasn’t bad either.