Monday, May 7, 2012

Istanbul (Day Two)

Our second day in Istanbul actually started out really well. The beds were not especially comfortable, but I think we were all so exhausted from the plane ride and the walking around all day before that we didn't even notice. I slept like a ROCK. Bliss. And we woke up to our complimentary breakfast, which, from what I have seen so far, is a very typical Turkish breakfast.

After breakfast we went and saw the ridiculously huge Topkapi Palace. This is where the sultans lived for hundreds of years. And we spent FOUR HOURS walking around the grounds. FOUR HOURS?! It was huge. The buildings were beautiful and I could have spent hours just strolling around the gardens.

Istanbul actually spans the divide between Europe and Asia. The Bosphorus Strait is just behind us here. So you can visit two continents by going to one city!

After the palace we ate lunch (FOOD!) and then headed for the Grand Bazaar.

Talk about huge. This covered bazaar has 4 main entrances, but a local confided to us that there are actually SEVENTEEN different gates, with 61 streets and over 3,000 shops!

My feet were KILLING me so I sat whenever I could...even if that meant sitting on the ground.

We had a few mini adventures in the Bazaar. Vendors will do anything to get you into their shop. I even had one guy grab my arm and try to drag me into his scarf shop, claiming that I had been there earlier and that I had promised to come back and look around (which was false). This vendor sold really awesome hand-carved instruments, and after Bryonna expressed interest in a piece he immediately claimed to have fallen in love with her, and even offered 30 camels for her. Don't they make such a cute couple?

These mosaic lamps are everywhere and are really just a big tourist souvenir, but they are so pretty so I got one anyways. One of the amber ones on the right. You can buy hanging fixtures, but I bought a really awesome curvy stand and I love it! I'll have to put up a picture of it later...

And I WILL have this gorgeous light fixture in my home someday.

On the way back to get our luggage we found this little underground jewelry store. I have never seen so many earrings in my entire life combined, they literally covered the walls with them. And this picture is only about 1/4th of the store. Plus, each pair is only 1.5 lira, or about 75 cents apiece...

We hopped on a plane and headed to Adana, where Spencer's parents live...Goodbye Istanbul.

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