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Published: April 30th 2016
: Sadly we were kept up by a baby crying until 12:30 AM. Sleep was fitful so John got up and went for a sunrise walk down to the ferry terminal at Eminonu. He saw the first cruise ship we have sighted. Our host at the hotel tells us that the norm is two or three ships a day but many of the big cruise lines have cancelled Istanbul as a port-of-call altogether! Shocking.
After a warming breakfast and conversation with the hotel’s owner, Mehmet, we rested before meeting friends Aggie and Roger and going to the famous Chora Church with its unsurpassed mosaics. We ogled them for an hour or more, running into Carol, Steve and Connie from the Asian Art Museum. The five of them are on their way tomorrow to Iran for a special Asian Society tour. Aggie, Roger, Peggy and John had arranged an Ottoman luncheon at Asitane Restaurant next to the Chora, and all the Asian Art Museum folks joined us for a real treat. Every dish was special – lamb shank, chicken in special spices, mezes (appetizers) and even Ottoman deserts. We simply sat around and chatted for a few hours before quietly making
our way back to the hotel and some rest. The end of the day was backgammon at the local café and some soup and baklava. And more enjoyable conversations with Mehmet about Istanbul, the economy, the US, and life in general, before organizing our bags and preparing to depart on Sunday for Athens.
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