Day 24: Touristy Day in Istanbul, Turkey
We woke up pretty relaxed in the morning. Breakfast time was already over and we had planned to check out whole of Istanbul today before we leave for rest of Turkey the next day.
Hotel Pera Palace, itself is quite a magnificent place and has historical value attached to it. Iren; “The concierge lady” was very sweet and helpful. She also took it on herself to communicate with the travel agent in Trebzon to get us some update on when the ferry was planned to leave.
She gave us a kind of guided tour of the hotel and answered each and every questions that Aarti had, and trust me Aarti has a whole lot of questions :-p
We left the hotel and went directly to Topkapi Palace. Checked out the market area and then walked towards the Blue Mosque. It was a bright and sunny day, perfect for enjoying the location and clicking photos. We hung around the Blue Mosque square for some time and then decided to grab a nice lunch after checking out the Grand Bazaar.
Walking through the Grand Bazaar made me reminiscent of good old bazaars in India. After burning some more calories on window shopping we decided to enjoy a good meal. The market was full of shops offering local food and that’s what we were after as well, found a nice restaurant with sitting available in the open and we settled down.
There was a travel shop next to the restaurant, so we stopped by to check out their plan for Pamukkale. We still had half of the day left to our disposal so we decided to walk our way back to the hotel and check out few more local spots on the way back. From Grand Bazaar we turned towards Galata Bridge, it was quite a scene next to the bridge. There was a whole lot of hustle and bustle and we both were totally loving it. From floating restaurants to people crowding either side of the bridge to catch and sell fresh fish was quite a view. We stood there for some time to soak in the experience and then started towards Taksim Square.
Your day in Turkey would be incomplete without Turkish Tea, we found a nice looking tea joint on the way and enjoyed our serving one sip at a time. It was a uphill climb towards the hotel and pair of legs on both of us had started to complain already. We reached back to the hotel and an unexpected update from the Trabzon contact was waiting for us.
Iren, told us that the ferry to Sochi was scheduled for Wednesday. Since that day was Monday, it essentially meant that we had to cancel all our Turkey plans and drive non stop next day so that we reach in time for our Wednesday ferry :-/
We both were kind of disheartened as we had so much planned for Turkey but at the same time missing the ferry meant there would be no other ferry in next two weeks! We thanked Iren and with a Catch-22 expression on our face we started walking towards our room.
Idea was to freshen up and go out and grab a nice dinner before we leave for Trabzon next day morning. The hustle-bustle of the market was quite refreshing. After the dinner we were happily strolling and checking out the market. This is when we came across this nice lady who was making some drink in a very peculiar way. This was strange enough to wake up the inquisitive worms in Aarti’s brain, and it turned out to be traditional and quick way to make coffee. We did not try it as none of us is a coffee fan but we did click some pictures 🙂
Our walkathon through the town looks something like this once plotted on Google Maps.