Monday, December 8, 2008

Monday in Istanbul

We have finally stumbled our way into some reliable internet access and are ready to share pictures and videos.

Like that guy.

Chris and I are writing side by side; he's responsible for Friday and Saturday news, I for Sunday and Monday. So we'll see how this unfolds.

Today we woke at a more respectable time than yesterday, about 9 am.

This is vacation for us and we have earned it so we made the decision to be in no great hurry.

After breakfast we started Rick's "New District" walking tour.

This walking tour required us to try two of Istanbul's finest transportation options:

the tram (moving picture)

and the funicular (which Chris swears he has ridden before)

When we left the funicular we were both oohed and awed at the cables and gigantic wheel that make it go.

Chris really enjoyed both.

The walking tour began with a 30 degree downhill trek along the art nouveau street Istiklal (independence).

This street showcases stores that are normally open when it's not a national holiday, and a charming red tram that chugs by every 10 minutes or so with kids hanging off the back.

Rick suggested many side alleys complete with churches and museums but as this was not our first dance in Istanbul, we opted out of seeing any more churches and museums, and instead stayed the course straight down Istiklal.

At the end of the walk sits Galata Tower with "the most spectacular view of Istanbul". We waited in the line for about 2 minutes to take the elevator to the top, and then we decided we didn't care about seeing the best view, and continued down the street, telling everyone we saw to make sure and stand in line for the view as it's "totally worth it."

Chris found some photographs at a tiny little antique stand and bought 3 for 1ytl a piece.

He then found these and renamed the city.

Just as we were stumbling through the most remote, random, windy streets of Istanbul, Chris found this shop:

At the end of our walk we found ourselves at the Galata Bridge. After Chris bought some nuts we crossed the bridge.

It smelled like fish and I was the only female crossing the bridge. I'm pretty sure I wasn't supposed to but I'm not sure why.

Amazingly we weren't that travel weary and managed to walk all the way back to the Old District and our hotel's area.

While hunting for a place to eat one man tried to lure us into his restaurant with the tempting proposal that "the food is made of my mom". Yum.

We decided to eat in the only restaurant that didn't have an annoying man outside trying to sell us his mom food.

After a very tasty lunch and some witty newlywed banter we once again exposed ourselves to the aggressive salesmen in the arts market next to the Blue Mosque.


We bought nothing but laughed a lot.

We then happened by this great cafe with wifi if you buy a drink, so we're on our 4th cup of tea and we're going to keep on chugging till we can get you guys all filled in on the goings-ongs of Istanbul.

Plus, this kitten is now asleep on my lap and I want to take it home.

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