Shopping Day

Trip Start May 07, 2010
Trip End May 22, 2010

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Flag of Turkey  , Istanbul Province,
Friday, May 21, 2010

Hi Everyone,

   We survived yet another overnight bus arriving at Istanbul's Sultanahmet. Wow, its now the 4-5 th time we arrive at this location. We head off to ur hotel in no time just to find all the pensions full. I was ready to give up and check into the 200 euro a night Best Western Hotel when Angela told me to try Side hotel.So we head over just to find it also no vacancy. We tried two additonal hotels one 160 euro, other 99 euro, we settled for the 99 euro Hotel Uyan. The price was quoted in Euro but the hotel lady quickly converted the money to Turkish Lira and charged us such, what the heck, this actually costs more, as I remembered what Roger from yesterday told me that he was tricked by his hotel also quoting him Euro charge him Lira and made a profit from conversion of currency. Anyway to over charge tourists....

    Anyhow, we had a very nice breakfst complete with chocolate jam, fruit, juices even egg and omelet, what a treat.

    Today our agenda is shopping and city tour, no more museums. We visited Istikal street where the modern Turkish people live and have fun. I saw the European NBA store selling jerseys shoes and other sports wear. There was even a photo of Jordan Farmar on the wall. I am surprised there were no photos of Hedo Turkulu or Mehmet Okur in the store.  The NBA is promoting itself in Turkey as basketball now become a very fashionable sport here in Turkey.
Next we walked down Istikal street and found a sweet store. We both stepped in a bought a bunch of sweets such as Turkish delight, pastachio and almond marsapan, hazelnut brittle before we left the store. We then found a fish market and fruit market and bought some nice mulberries. In the afternoon, we visited Grand Bazaar, spice market for some last minute shopping. GrandBazaar was filled with clothing store, gold store, souvenior, carpet etc with very little food so it didn't interestme as much. So we head back to spice market and bought more  items there.

    That night I did the hamam again,except this time the attendants weren't as good as the ones in Cappadocia. The attendants left me on the marbel slab for a long time before he came in and scrubed me really quick before he stepped out. I waited for a long time so I stepped out to see if they are ready for me, just to find them staring at the doorway looking out for more customers???  weird, take care the existing customers first ??

    I walked back through the beautiful Aya Sofya and Blue Mosque hearing the tourists chatting in all different languages and feeling the cool breeze blowing at me, ahhh, how comfortable. Now I am just wondering about my future return to this magical country for more explorations.

    As this is the last night of our trip, I went to bed relatively early anticipating the early fight back to the US.
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