Sunday we got up & had breakfast – the one thing the hotel had going for it was the free breakfast – then headed back to the Ayasofya Museum which is quite an amazing place. I also tried to capture it in a video but I’m a rookie using video on our camera. It’s a really beautiful place. Next we tried to go back to the Blue Mosque so I could take a video inside but it was closed for prayers. You can’t be in the city without hearing the call to prayer three times a day. My favorite…the 5:30am call that will wake you from a dead sleep.The Topkapi Palace was next. The palace houses all kinds of treasures, including an 86 carat diamond that was originally traded to a spoon maker for three spoons & most notoriously, Moses’s staff. Yup, the one he used to part the Red Sea. I’m not sure how/if they can prove the authenticity of it but it was pretty cool. There were beautiful views of the city from the palace gardens.
After spending some time exploring the palace we existed & had a little street meat for lunch – donor, if you will. There is street vendors selling food everywhere you go, most commonly you see chestnuts, bread, corn on the cob & fresh pressed orange and/or pomegranate juice. Little shops sell gyros.
We wandered the streets for a bit after lunch, making our way toward the fishing bridge & stopping on the other side for an Efes. From there we decided to see if we could find a boat to Asia & started walking toward the ferry terminals. On the way we passed a soccer stadium and tried to buy tickets for the game. When we finally found someone working for the place he told us that it was a women & children only game & I could go but Pete wouldn’t be allowed in. I did buy some fan gear from a little boy by the stadium.
The Four Seasons (different location from yesterday) seemed like a good place to stop to ask the concierge what the best route to Asia was & what to do when we got there. She was extremely helpful & told us how to get to the ferry & recommended a home-style Turkish restaurant for dinner. I love that you can hop on the ferry & be in Asia in 10 minutes. Lunch in Europe, dinner in Asia – both in Istanbul, kind of cool.
After dinner we headed back to Europe & then back to the hotel. We were up at 5:30am to get on the road before rush hour – apparently Istanbul is infamous for terrible traffic. Now we’re on the place about an hour outside of London. We’ll be landing in London then catching a flight to Rome. See you in Rome!