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Published: November 2nd 2009
The view from my breakfast table :)
We woke up around 7 to get ready and enjoy a nice Turkish breakfast included with our hotel! Like the Outer banks, they often eat meals on the top floor. They even had seating on the roof with overlooked the city (Blue Mosque included) and sea. And it was a beautiful day- T-shirt weather! The breakfast was great because it wasn't what Americans consider breakfast (which I hate). There was bread, feta cheese, sausage, this delicious tomato sauce, and so much more.. They even had an espresso machine!
After breakfast, we walked to the Hagia Sofia. Our tour guide met us there.. He was an older guy with white hair but had a lot of personality! He gave us a tour of the church/mosque and talked about the history. It was first a church when it was Constantinople but when the Turks took over, they transformed it into a mosque. There are even some traces of its church origin.
Then we walked across the street from the Hagia Sofia to the Blue Mosque. Since it was Friday, prayers were for an extended time slot, so we didn't go in then. Eva told us about the Blue Mosque and then
Remains from when the Hagia Sofia was a church and not a Mosque.
we broke for lunch. Again.. we had Kebabs.. Don't get me wrong, I love them, but I wanted to try another Turkish dish!
We met an hour later at the Sultan's Palace. I had no idea it was SOOOO big! We sat outside in the courtyard as Eva told us about the history.. Then she gave us our tickets to enter the gates and we all went our separate ways. If you were to do everything, it would have taken a full day.. so my friends and I picked one thing which took us an hour and a half. We chose to see the Sultans' concubines' corridors. It was beautiful.. all the colors and tiles and old architecture. There were about three court yards and each of them had a better view of the city than the last.
After the Sultan's palace, we decided to go to Asia.. Yeah you read that right, Asia. Istanbul is the only city that is on two continents.. and we were still in Europe, so we took the fairy to Asia.. Asia was not so nice. It was not touristy, so no one knew English. There was garbage everywhere and it was
overwhelmingly crowded! We bought some Turkish cookies and pastries and went back to Europe! On the way back, the sun was setting over the Blue Mosque. It was verrrry beautiful!
After we got back from Asia, we we went searching for a restaurant. For some reason, we had the worst trouble! We looked in a guide book for the top rated restaurants and were disappointed to be led to a grocery store! But finally we found a good place.. and AGAIN KEBABS! I also had a mint chickpea tomato soup and it was delicious. We tried Raky here which is a Turkish shot. It was so disgusting that I could not finish it!
After Asia and dinner, we were all pretty tired.. and it was around nine, so we all headed to bed! I know, lame! But traveling to two continents is tiring 😊
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