East and West: Istanbul

Trip Start May 17, 2006
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Trip End Ongoing


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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Well I am back in Istanbul. We took the ferry back from Cannakale instead of taking the bus. It was faster and a nice change of pace. We started by spending the first day there at Topkapi Palace. It was amazing. We went first thing in the morning. We decided to do the audioguide tour because we could go at our own pace and take our time. Most of the tours were only an hour.

The entrance way into the palace was huge. I bought books about the place because there was so much history and things to know about it that I couldn't remember anything. In the palace, we did a tour of the treasury, gardens, and harem. The treasury had amazing thing in it. The one thing I saw that was amazing was the skull and arm of Saint John the Baptist. I could't believe what I was looking at. I didn't even know it was there.

The next day, we went to the Blue Mosque, which was huge. It was amazing to see all the tile work, whick is where it gets its name Blue Mosque from. From there, we went to the Hagia Sophia. This used to be a church that was turned into a mosque. They were doing some restoration on it, so half of the inside was taken up with scaffolding all the way to the ceiling, which is extremely high.

After this, we went to the National Museum, but we were so tired that we skipped some things because you can spend hours in there looking at everything. Especially cause there are so many rooms and buildings to the museum.

The weather in Istanbul seemed a lot cooler than the rest of the area but that is because there is less humidity. It was nice to take a break from the heat. It starts to get to be too much after a while.
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