Jodi's Middle East Adventure travel blog

Medusa in the Basilica cistern


Blue Mosque


Mosaic in the AyaSofya




Hundreds of years old and still used

Inside the bowels of the Grand Bazaar

Along the Bosphorus straight




In the Palace museum of Archeology

Magnolia on the palace grounds


Where sultans hang out

circumcision room

Palace room


selling chestnuts and corn


green parrot



Ordinary street

Blue mosque

Grand Bazaar


On the steps of the New Mosque (1600's)




Candy anyone?

March 15

After checking out of the the hostel, I walked up the street to the meeting hotel for the tour of Turkey. I left my bag in storage and spent the morning walking some more. I found the hippodrome which is just a square beside the Blue mosque now and then walked outside the city wall along the water front.

By then I could check into the hotel and meet the tour leader, Mutlu. With the death of my e-reader I'd been looking for a book to read so asked her advice and set out for find the store. $25 is a lot to pay for a paper back but I was quite desperate. Orhan Pamuk is a famous Turkish author so I figured that would be a good read while in Turkey.

Our group of 15 range in ages and nationalities and seem to be a nice bunch of people. After dinner together we walked to the bridge to have drink, some smoked a shisha (can't remember the Turkish name for it) and we walked back in the cold drizzle.

March 16

This morning I thoroughly enjoyed the best shower I've had in a long time. Breakfast provided by the hotel was a nice assortment of cheeses, yogurt, eggs, tomatoes and cucumber as well as breads and spreads.

We loaded the van with our bags and went for a walk around Istanbul visiting sights I'd already seen but learned more about from Mutlu.

We took a ferry to Kakavoy on the Asian side where we met the van and headed for Ankara. This area is the largest part of Turkey and called Anatolia. The city turned into large apartment blocks, some industrial area and then farmland. Later it became more hilly and sparse with pockets of snow here and there. The highway was like any in North America with the same green signs, just in Turkish. At least the numbers were recognizable, unlike Arabic

Ankara is the capital of Turkey, home to about 4 million people. After a quick check in to the hotel we went out for dinner where I enjoyed an aubergine (egg plant) salad. They brought us an assortment of dips and a batter meat ball thing that was interesting and we finished the meal with traditional Turkish tea. VERY interesting.

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