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Published: November 2nd 2009
Day three... Savanah and I overslept our alarm! So we threw out hair up because we didn't want to miss our free breakfast! We met downstairs with Eva and headed to the Bascila Cistern. We had no idea what it was or what to expect. We were all in awe when we went down the cold creepy stairs and saw the cistern. There are pictures, but basically it was an underground space with pillars and water. But the lights made the scene more dramatic. It was built during the Byzantine era before it was Constantinople in the 6th century! Originally it was a building for law students.. and it was restored in 1985. Very cool.
After the cistern, we went to the Grand Bazaar. Let me tell you, I had NO idea it was this GRAND!! The bazaar was mostly indoors.. and it took over the streets. There were street signs IN the bazaar! The bazaar had everything you could imagine.. its like Turkish walmart. Well not really but it had everything. Savannah and I both wanted to buy a Turkish carpet, so we searched for a good place for that. A lot of the vendors we sleezy, obviously just
In the Basilica Cistern
trying to take our money! They had the funniest pick up lines like... "Hey where is Charlie?" and we were like ummm WHO IS CHARLIE? "Well you are angles, so you should know!" Or "Hey, I am right here! You were looking or me?" Very funny..
Finally we found a nice professional vendor. His store was huge and it almost seemed like an office because he had a desk and a laptop. We had a seat and told him that we were students so we were looking for something affordable. He laid out about 30 turkish rugs.. We narrowed it down to about 8 and then he brought us turkish apple tea and we just started talking about life, about prague, etc. Then we got back to business.. and I chose my rug. He offered us more tea after we made our purchases. He was very polite and interesting. It was a great Turkey experience!
Then we were craving some coffee.. and of course we had to have turkish coffee! So we went to a cafe in the bazaar. I ordered baklavah and turkish coffee. It really hit the spot! We gave him a good tip and he
was so thrilled that he gave us his business card and told us to visit his cafe again when we return to Istanbul- that "you have a friend in Istanbul." It was cute.
After the bazaar, we met Eva at the hotel and she took us to Taksim square, the modern part o Istanbul with the expensive shopping clubs and bars. She showed us the Galata Tower on the way to the Square- "the tower of christ". It was builit in 1348 when Istanbul was Constantinople. It was used as a look out tower for spotting fires. After the tower, we hiked a verrrry steep hill and made it to the Taksim Square. We looked in a few shops, ate dinner, and went to a couple bars, a hookah bar. If you go to Istanbul, you have to try it! Its cultural. It is purely tobacco, but flavored and it is not as harsh on your lungs because it is smoked with water.
We got back to the hotel around 2am, went to bed, got up the next morning and went to breakfast. But no one was there..? hmm.. We forgot it was daylight savings!! So, I got
my shower in, and then we went back up and had a huge breakfast. Then it was time to go back to Prague!
The airport security was ridiculous. I went through 4 security gates! I guess better safe than sorry! On the plane, I talked to a Turkish woman who was going to the Spa town in the Czech. We talked almost the whole trip! She was older- probably around 65, but had a yound personality. She was very interested in us AMericans!
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