Friday, January 9, 2015

Turkey Vacation - day 7: more of Istanbul

To start the day off right: scrumptious fresh-squeezed pomegranite juice!!!!!! YES PLEEEEEEZ!!!

AAAANNNNNDDDD...STARBUCK'S!!!!!!!!!!! We soon found out that Starbuck's are about as popular in Turkey as they are in America...which was fine with me! We even found a super fancy 5 stories tall Starbucks's that we climbed the stairs to the top of to see the amazing sunset that was being painted across the sky!

On our way into the Grand Bazaar...

The Grand Bazaar is located right next to a mosque and it happened to be one of the many prayer times when we got there, so the people going in to worship are washing their feet a the faucets around the perimeter of the mosque.

The entrance:

This sign made me chuckle: "Magic Towel of Doctor"...heehee... Maybe i should have bought one for my doc friends back home!

Entering the Blue Mosque. This attraction was probably the strangest tourist attraction i've experienced thus far in my life because the mosque still functions as a completely active mosque, but tourists are allowed in to observe...kinda bizarre.

So, as this sign says, men must wear pants and women must wear skirts (or pants) below the knees and a head scarf. Also, upon entering the mosque, everyone has to take off their shoes. Thankfully i had already bought some pretty awesome scarves, so i was ready (& excited to learn how to wrap my head in it)! And i was wearing slip-on rain boots, so they were easy enough...not like my 12-hole doc's i used to wear everyday...o how i miss my docs...

Inside the mosque:

Some people are praying, even though it wasn't one of the official prayer times yet.

A mosque replica outside of the mosque.

A pretty cool view of the mosque with the clouds.

The front of the mosque and the courtyard.

A random yellow house that i just like :o]

The Basilica Cistern, is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul, built in 532.

2 of the 336 columns that hold the cistern are Medusa heads - one is upside down and the other on it's side. There are many theories as to why they are placed the way they are, but i don't think anyone knows for sure. But at least it's interesting and we can come up with our own stories! That's always fun!!

Walking down the street and run into this: McDonald's delivery bikes! :oD

And on the Spice Market

O delicious, wondrous pistachio do i love thee? Enough to buy 1/2 kilo, that's how much!

Random picture to show how close the trains drive past pedestrians! No railings! It's crazy! I wonder how many people get hit every year by them! 

Interesting Turkish desserts. I don't know what the hanging things are, but they look like a colorful array of intestines.

Dinner with clay pots...again...& good poofy bread! And our silly waiter photo bombing my pic ;op

Now for more clay pot fun:

On to dessert - Turkish traditional liquor called Raki. We made friends with one of the local bar owners. We taught him how to play backgammon and he shared his Raki with us! Like i mentioned before, the people of Turkey are the friendliest people (as a whole) i have ever met! Raki has a cool chemistry trick to it to that i can't wait to show my peeps at home!

And on to backgammon...Nate bought this new Turkish board, so we had to break it in...i let him win the 1st game since it is his board ;op

But by the 2nd game, it was on! As you can see, i'm seriously concentrating.
I'm pretty sure he won this game too...d'oh! That's ok tho, cuz i was able to redeem myself a few days later ;op

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