We said good bye to new friends and left Sea Cloud II behind at 9am, took a taxi to the Neorion Hotel in the "old city" part of Istanbul, got orientated by the hostess and set out to "discover". We walked to the Gullhane Park entrance near Sarayburnu. It's one of the most beautiful parks with tall trees and a nice breeze and it smells great too. Everything you've heard about the bustling city of Istanbul is true but needs to be experienced. People are friendly but I was approached by two men who asked me very seriously if I was interested in becoming a Muslim? So many little shops and cafes.
At the southern end of the park is the main gateway to the Topkapi Palace and Archeological Museum. We stopped into the Cafe Safran for lunch and waited to meet up with the Hunters who were coming from the W Hotel in the "new city" part of Istanbul. We never heard from Ken and Bobbi so we decided to see the Archeological Museum on our own and purchased the 72 hour Istanbul Pass which gets you into practically everything and no standing in line! The museum is fabulous
but needs a facelift . . google it to learn more. We came back to our hotel where the Hunters will meet up with us. We went to dinner and then down to the Kadikby Pier to find a sunset cruise boat. For 10 T Lira (about $4.50) we got on what turned out to be the most rickity and tired but full of character boat - still it was a fun look at Istanbul from the bobbing waters in the Bosphorus. Tomorrow we have a guide for the day!
we're having the time of our life. as much as we love our home, the desire to visit new and old places has burned within us since we were in college. only a few states in the US that we haven't visited and many that we want to revisit. during Craig's career importing hardwood lumber, he traveled to Singapore, the Philippines, Hong Kong, E and W Malaysia, Taiwan and Indonesia. before she met Craig, Toni traveled every summer to Europe, Mexico and Southeast Asia. we've visited every Hawaiian island except Lanai and Molokai and driven to Mulege in Baja, Mexico. Craig surfed near Zihautenejo... full info