Istanbul Day One

Trip Start Sep 04, 2006
Trip End Jan 2007

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Where I stayed
Arya Otel

Flag of Turkey  ,
Saturday, September 30, 2006

My first day in Istanbul... we traveled by sleeper bus all through the night and arrived in Istanbul (Asia/MiddleEast side) at around 8am. It being my first time on a train, needless to say I didn't sleep much. However, not because of the train, but because my friends are crazy and like to keep me awake! Actually the train was very very enjoyable. Definetly the way to travel through the night in Turkey if you want to sleep in a bed. We took a ferry across the Bosphorus to the Europe side which was nice but chilly in the morning. We arrived at our hotel, the Arya Otel, which was very nice for a European hotel I felt. Of course not very big, but hey, I had my own bed and my bathroom (not having my own bathroom in months was a luxury)! No sleep for the weary so we went straight into sightseeing. We saw one of the oldest Greek Orthodox churches in the world, unbelievably beautiful. I'll post a picture. It was covered (and I mean every piece of furniture, decor, icon) in goldand jewels! I wish I could remember the name, but I'll come back and fill it in as soon as I remember. We also went to the pazar, not the Grand Pazar that everyone knows of, but the spice market pazar which was HUGE! The name is decieving because its not only spices sold there but everything as well, but that is where you can get some of the really rare spices for OOBER cheap. I picked up some pretties while there...but I cant say what since some of them are presents. If you ever go to a pazar anywhere in Turkey be prepared to bargain. I'm not very good at it so I made my Turkish friend do it for me...I'm such a wimp! We wandered all around Istanbul both Europe and Asia sides, drinking chai, speaking Turkish, taking a billion pictures, walking walking and more walking. So by the end of the night I was wiped out! However, somehow my friends talked me into again and we went out for fun and relaxation with our program director Kathryn. I'll include pictures of everything from that day so check them out!
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