Day 2 in the City That Spans 2 Continents

Trip Start Jun 21, 2012
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Trip End Jul 11, 2012


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Flag of Turkey  ,
Saturday, June 23, 2012

We've had another very full day travelling around this amazing city. A trip to the Grand Bazaar had us fighting off hoards of desperate salesmen with everything from pashmere's to spinning tops on offer. It's a bit like a typical market gone mad! The bright colours are incredible, and the crowds of multinational people make for a very unique experience. After an apple tea break (the best drink anywhere, as far as I'm concerned), we made our way to Sultanahmet Mosque. Lots of similarities with the Blue Mosque, although not quite as big. The Spice Market was next - more very pushy salesmen, although as soon as you say you're from Australia they instantly say, "you can't buy any of this, you're not allowed to take it home with you!" - followed by fish burgers for lunch at a restaurant under the bridge. For the afternoon, a beautiful cruise along the Bosporus taking in wonders such as palaces built by sultans, temples, mansions made of timber that aren't allowed to be updated and must be repaired using original materials, boats of every variety, and water so turquoise it blows your mind! From the ferry wharf, we embarked on a memorable bus trip we managed to get for free – stand long enough in the doorway asking a Turkish bus driver who doesn't speak English where to buy a ticket, and he’ll just waive you on for nothing! The bus was quite crowded by the time our stop came up. We had several options for our next couple of hours – visit an old fort and climb lots of stairs, more walking and looking around, or make our way to a place called Ortakoy, a café area known for good coffee and sitting around relaxing. As you may imagine, the decision was unanimous! So after a relaxing drink and some time pottering around amongst yet more market type stalls, we made our way to the Funicular – an underground cable train that takes you to the top of the hill – and met up with more members of our tour for a walk down Istiklal Avenue for dinner.

Anyway, Mel is asleep and I should be too, so that’s enough for now.   
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