I love my hostel! I spent most of yesterday chilling on the roof, reading and getting some housekeeping (ie. trip planning & computer stuff) done. Oh and I had Turkish pizza for lunch (called lahmacun?) and did a bit of window shopping around Sultanahmet.
This morning I moved my bag over to the hotel that I’m meeting my group for the next two weeks. Then we caught the train out to this neighbor about 5 train stops away. There was an outlet mall there and we just wandered around for a while. Maybe not the smartest thing we’ve done all week, but it was interesting to see more of Istanbul. After a few hours we headed back home. The train was packed on the return trip. Most of our fellow travelers were “deodorant optional”, and they kept the sliding doors open, which was kind of annoying since I couldn’t reach the bar to hang onto. I ended up squirming my way to the end of the car by the wall. After saying goodbye to C & M I headed to my hotel to meet my group. There are only 5 of us: 3 Aussies and a Canadian (yay!). They all seem pretty normal, except for my roomie, but only time will tell (whoever said there is no stupid question, perhaps hasn’t met her. *zing)
This afternoon we headed to the Grand Bazaar (I feel like a regular now. After spending a week here I barely need a map!) Then we went to a really small mosque (very intimate, a totally different feel than the Blue Mosque). It was beautiful. The Spice Bazaar was next. AMAZING! Spices, nuts, herbs, and Turkish delight everywhere! I bought some dates and overate on Turkish delight samples. Oh and I bought two scarves. I love bargaining in this country! So much fun — it’s like a big game. After meeting back up outside, we headed to the wharf and everyone got mussels. We ended up having dinner near my hostel at a rooftop terrace. The food was alright, not spectacular (which was disappointing, as I think I’ve been pretty successful at finding great places on my own). When we got back, we (sans my roomie) had drinks on the top of the hotel overlooking the Aya Sofia and Blue Mosque. I think I’m really going to like this group.
Dear Türkiye, I love you!