Turkey, the Eclipse & Vienna in 2006

March 25: More in Istanbul


Covered Bazaar and Spice Market,
Rüstem Pasha Mosque, cruising the Bosphorus

 

March 24
Istanbul
March 26
And more of Istanbul

March 27
Istanbul to Antalya
March 28
Antalya to Olympos
March 29
ECLIPSE DAY
March 30
Olympos to Kalkan
March 31
Kalkan to Fethiye

April 1
Fethiye to Pamukkale

April 2
Pamukkale to Kusadasi
April 3
Kusadasi to Istanbul
April 4
Istanbul
April 6
Vienna
 
Today is Scott's 5th birthday and I thought many times during the day how he would like much of Turkey. We began our day by walking by the two big mosques and then down to an area of small hotels (and the Four Seasons in a former prison building), shops, and restaurants. Most of the buildings are wood and very attractive. Then we headed back to the hotel to meet our Wilderness Travel guide, Mahmut, and the rest of our traveling group.
         
We headed out for an afternoon of exploring. We walked through the Grand Bazaar — if you walk at a very fast pace almost no one attempts to engage you in conversation or a purchase. It was much more crowded in the afternoon than we had found it the morning of the previous day. Then we went through many small crowded streets to the Spice Market. The colors and smells were wonderful and buying was tempting!
         
         
Then we walked to the Rüstem Pasha Mosque which has wonderful blue tile mosaics. Here we were able to sit in the background and observe the late afternoon prayers — a very interesting experience!
         
         
After the service we walked to water (the Sea of Marmara near the Golden Horn) where we boarded our boat for a cruise on the along the Bosphorus Strait. It was fun to watch the skylines of Europe and Asia go past. We docked just before reaching the Black Sea and were taken by bus to a wonderful waterfront restaurant where we one of many delicious Turkish dinners and toasted the beginning of what we all hoped would be a great trip. As an added treat a school of jellyfish entertained us outside the restaurant window while we ate.