Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday in Istanbul

Today is our second last day in Istanbul. We visited the Blue Mosque, built in seven years following the Ottoman Conquest of 1453. Magnificent architecture, no shorts or short skirts, ladies had to cover their heads and arms, men and ladies had to remove their shoes. Thankfully I had brought along my own scarf and did not have to borrow from the mosque.

Then we boarded a ship for a cruise of the Bosphorus Straits that separate Europe and Asia. Historically very important, the Bosphorus also joins the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. Fishing boats, tankers, freighters, yachts and pleasure craft of all kinds can be seen. On the shore huge numbers of multimillion dollar homes, lavish hotels, and, of course. mosques can be seen.

The cruise goes under the Bosphorus bridge, built in the early '70s that connected Europe and Asia. 10 TL and 90 minutes later and we were back at the Galata Bridge. Then an afternoon stroll through the Spice Market and some local markets areas near there. It is estimated that 400,000 people visit these markets every day! I think we bumped into half of them.

We ended the day with a magnificent meal of turkish cuisine on the rooftop terrace of a nearby hotel. The view was spectacular, too bad we left the camera back at the hotel. The Bosphorus Bridge was lit with changing colored lights and with the full moon in the distance it rivaled the Eiffel Tower for its light show.

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