Saturday, May 4, 2013

Istanbul - Day 2

So - awoken at 5am with the call to prayer from the mosque next door. A good nights sleep and an early breakfast in the underground dining room of the hotel with another Australian couple.
Bosphorus tourist ferry up to the point it enters the Black Sea. Lunch at the Yoros Cafe at the foot of Yoros Kalesi - an old Byzantine fort upgraded by the Genoese and Ottomans. A steep 25 minute climb up from the harbour at Anadolu Kavagi - where the ferry turns around to head back to Istanbul.
Europe to the left and Asia minor to the right as you sail northwards up the Bosphorus from Istanbul on the Marmara Sea to the Black Sea. One of history's most fought over waterways.
After the 90 minute return trip. We took the tram back up the hill, to the Grand Bazaar. A large covered market with over 2000 shops staffed by people determined to extract every last dollar from every last tourist. All in the most courteous fashion of course. We stopped for coffee in the inner oldest part of the bazaar, with an amazing domed ceiling. Stopped off at the booksellers bazaar before heading back towards our hotel. Stopped on route at a cafe in the smaller Arasta bazaar - behind the Blue Mosque - for a light supper.
Tomorrow the Heywards fly in from Islamabad. We'll probably visit one of the other mosques in the morning and kill time in the local area while we wait for them to arrive.

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