Tuesday, June 8, 2010

not constantinople

I wish I had more to say about Istanbul. Unfortunately, a sprained ankle and a very rainy Sunday kept us from doing a third of what we wanted and had planned to do. I just refused to start the vicious cycle of ignoring the pain on weekends just to pay the price all week. I did that in Greece last year and was not signing up for it again.

Saturday we did go to the Blue Mosque, Haghia Sofia and to the Grand Bazaar.I wasn’t that impressed with the Blue Mosque. It was really beautiful from the outside, but to be honest the interior pictures look nicer than it was, at least to me. My opinion may be a little skewed because of the fact that it smelled. As with any mosque you have to take off your shoes to enter. I don’t know if this is common since I think this was the first mosque I was ever allowed to actually enter, but it had wall to wall carpeting. Considering the percentage of dirty feet with thousands of people a day walking around and well, you can imagine. I was so happy I had worn tennis shoes and had socks on!

Haghia Sofia was lovely…in that dark and ancient sort of way. And it didn’t smell so it gets two thumbs up.

It was a little bit of a walk to the Grand Bazaar, but not far enough for a taxi to take us. I was limping pretty badly by the time we had been to only a fraction of the shops. Even with the little we explored this place was pretty amazing. It is now all covered and spans over 60 streets with over 2,500 shops!! I’m already planning a trip back just to buy lighting fixtures for the new house. Oh and to see the rest of the city…yeah, the city.

Sunday was pouring rain so both my foot and the Wife got the day off. Jules so rarely gets to actually relax. She works all week and then runs around like a tourist gone mad almost every single weekend. So, I was happy she got a rainy Sunday to lie around and read.

Even with missing out on all there is to do and see in Istanbul- and there is a ton- we both really enjoyed our weekend. We were happy to be somewhere where people spoke English and I almost cried when I saw the International Herald Tribune in the lounge. I haven’t had a newspaper in English since we left the States. Which I thought was crazy with Costa Rica and all the expats that live there, but whatever…I was thrilled! I read papers online, but it just isn’t the same.

We’ve got a 4 day weekend ahead of us. We’re meeting the Egypt team in Luxor to see the Valley of the Kings. It’s supposed to be amazing and we can’t wait to see our friends!

No comments: