After breakfast today we had a walk up to The Blue Mosque. After queuing to get entry I have to say we were slightly disappointed. Outside, the building is spectacular, but inside, although it is beautifully decorated, it was slightly spoilt by the tourists. We tried to abide with the rules about headdress and clothing, but it was obvious that some other people really couldn’t give two shits about the traditions. In a place where people should have the utmost respect, they were wandering around seemingly without a care in the world, pushing past and generally acting as typical tourists. I’m not normally one for having a go, but the atmosphere wasn’t what I expected and left me a little flat because of them all.
Anyway the mosque is itself well worth a visit – We would love to go when prayers are on, but we didn’t see this today.
After that the girls were going to see the other mosque, but it was expensive to get in, so we decided instead to head towards the tower overlooking the city instead.
It was a long hot walk along the seafront, but we chatted and watched the fishermen and the strange blokes with guns we saw shooting balloons and bottles by the side of the road! Then after a pit stop for chicken kebabs and the loo we crossed the bridge and up a steep hill towards the tower.
After taking the lift to the 7th floor we climbed the staircase and then spent about 15minutes just trying to get onto the outside viewing area. People are supposed to go clockwise, but as they stopped for photos, the queue backed up right back to the stairs. Its a really good view once you are there though. So good that Becky kept taking photos of the same boat on the river. After a lap of the tower and a use of the free toilets, which have the greatest view of any I have used, plus have really cool arched ceilings - we went back down and sat under the bridge in one of the many cafés and cars - This is a really cool place with lots going on – Tourists eating and drinking and a market at either end of the bridge selling all sorts of Turkish food, fish and goods. We had a quick walk around after a drink and then made our way back to the hostel – including an underpass which is part of the market and is absolutely mental!! Thousands of people trying to get through a small thin passage with stalls down either side. All good fun though. Then it was back home for a rest – except the girls who needed to do a little more shopping for clothes – We left them as the guy who owned the shop was showing them a pair of trousers meant for a 250kg girl!! God knows!! haahaa!
We all met up again later after we had had a rest and a shower. A few of the gang including Lana, Chris, Isabelle, Jim and Laura all decided to go out together for a bit of dinner. We only went down the street but had a nice dinner together- chatting about all sorts of stuff, people on the bus, why we are here, plans for the future etc.
I decided to have a walk to find the location of the Travel company 'Indigo', in preparation for the end of the boat trip that we are taking instead of Iran. Everyone else went home apart from Becky, so the two of us had a wander down the backstreet’s of Istanbul until we found the office on a corner behind the Blue Mosque. Once the recce was done we walked back up around the mosque and into the square where there is a fountain that has changing colours. We sat there for the best part of an hour, just chatting, watching people go past and having a lovely mellow evening. It was then nearly midnight so after a few photos we walked back past the other mosque, I fell over a low wall, but with my cat like reactions managed to do so without hurting myself! We headed back towards the Hostel. Becky jumped out of her skin at one point when a moped pizza delivery boy rode past and her jumping shit me up more than the noise of bike going past did! It was time for bed, so after a few good nights to the bussers sitting outside we all went to bed. Tomorrow we head towards Goreme, which is going to be our longest day on the bus so far. It's expected to be 8-10 hours, but I would be surprised if its less than 12....We will see how it goes tomorrow, but to end this today, I would just like to say – If you haven’t been to Istanbul, you are missing out. It is a great place and has gone in at a surprise no.1 in the places we have visited so far!
Its now early doors tomorrow and we are all outside and waiting for the bus. Frankie is telling me that her sister is reading the blog - Hi Frankies suister!!! Its ok, Frankie hasnt had any cake yet today - Although it is olnly half 7! –
Anyway today we cross the Bosphorus and head for asia!!! Good times!!!