Turkish Delights

Trip Start May 31, 2007
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Trip End May 20, 2008


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Where I stayed
Sultanhamet

Flag of Turkey  ,
Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Just finished dinner with my new group for my tour around Turkey.  Had a lovely outdoor dinner in the neighborhood near our hotel called Sultanhamet.  We are right near the Aya Sofia and the Blue Mosque, the most amazing underground Cİstern and other beautiful sights.  Everywhere you go there is a Hello madam or lady or can İ tell you something or excuse me etc.  Mostly round about business solicitations couched in questions that tug at your sense of politeness pushing you to pay attention.  İ have found that İ have to take alternative routes at times to avoid running into someone İ have told İ will see later...etc. 

Turkey and specifically Istanbul is much more secular than many of the other places İ have visited.  Still hear multiple calls to prayer 5x daily though.  The Islamİc dedication to religion is quite impressive.  The call for prayer in Arabic comes through the loudspeakers on the mosques so at times there are multiple calls happening at once.  İt seems that the different neighborhoods time it so that they do not all call at once.  So you will be going about your daily business and suddenly you hear the call.  The mosques basically close for tourists when the daily prayer is going on so you have to time your visits.  We are in Istanbul for another day and then we head out to our next destİnation!  The weather is warming up a bit and the skies have become hazy after many days and evenings wıth clear and beautiful skies. 

After the last tour ended many of us stayed around in İstanbul so we had some down time to relax and see sights and usually end up drinking Efes beer on the rooftop of one of the hostels where we were staying.  The breeze would pick up and on one side was the Aya Sofia and the other side the Blue Mosque both lit up and striking a contrast against the night sky.  The new moon filling in a bit more each evening sometimes bright white and sometime a warmer color.  Sipping our beer, smoking our nargile (water pipe in Turkish) the moon would shift in the sky sometimes right next to one of the minarets.  A million dollar view on a hostel rooftop discussing life and whatever might come to mind...
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