|Thursday morning we wandered up to the Blue Mosque, a short walk away and got to know our area a little as we hiked along. There are plentiful restaurants and shops where, for the most part, the vendors are polite. A few were somewhat persistent but by our second trip around they seemed to have us pegged. There were plenty of police and security around.
We took a Bosporus cruise in the afternoon for a couple of hours. Very interesting as the amount of boating and shipping activity is quite astonishing. There are 3 bridges currently crossing the Bosporus, 1 for train traffic, which is cable stayed, and 2 for vehicular traffic which are suspension. There is a 3rd bridge nearing completion at the northern end of the Bosporus which is a unique hybrid combination of cable stayed and suspension. Our cruise did not go quite that far, but I’ve shopped a pic for those that are interested…..(me!).
On our return to our hotel we took a short cable car ride from a vantage point back to sea level where our bus was waiting. We passed by the Spice Market and the Grand Bazaar as we returned to our still non-air conditioned room where we had a wee respite from our day’s labours. I did, however have a quick word or 2 with the manager about speeding up the a/c repair…
Later, as we passed through the lobby on our way to dinner we discovered a phalanx of a/c technicians fervently rushing around with a variety of wires and tools in hand. It was kind of comical.
We had enjoyed a morning coffee at a local restaurant, the “Dervish”. And so decided to give dinner a go at the same place. We found that the usual menu had been replaced with a fixed Ramazan menu which turned out to be very good AND reasonable. As it happened, the restaurant had live entertainment, including (you guessed it!) a Whirling Dervish. A patron 2 tables away indulged in a ritualistic smoke from a hookah which was pre-lit by a waiter producing copious clouds of smoke.
Anyway, it also turns out that this is a favourite spot for locals (and others), so we were amongst the very few foreigners present.
We were treated vey well and had a wonderful impromptu time!