Bosphorus, Bazaars, and Bond

Trip Start Jul 07, 2011
Trip End Jul 31, 2012

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Where I stayed
Amber Inn Hotel

Flag of Turkey  ,
Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Chris was feeling much better this morning, still not 100%, but enough that he was ready to go out and continue touring the city. We wanted to do a cruise that went up the Bosphorus. One of the really cool things about Istanbul is that part of the city is in Europe, while the other part is in Asia. The cruise we were going on, takes us up along the Bosphorus River right along the border of the continents. I had read in a few places that the state run ferries were the cheapest to take so that was our initial plan. Unfortunately, we discovered that tour was going to last about 6 hours, which was a lot longer than we wanted to spend on the boat. We ended up going with a private cruise boat, which started off being a bit of a disaster. The price was definitely reasonable, and the whole thing was only going to be 2 hours, which was exactly what we wanted. Once we got on the boat, we ended up sitting around for about 45 minutes waiting while the guide went out and hunted down more tourists to fill the boat up. After myself, and a few others threatened to leave, we eventualy took off. Things started off slowly but since it was a really nice day everything ended up working out ok. We saw some really nice sights along the way, before turning around and docking again at Eminou. Chris had one of the popular fish sandwiches for lunch, that they sell right off of boats docked at the port.
From the ferry, we headed back into the city to check out the Spice Bazaar and the Grand Bazaar. The Spice Bazaar was amazing. First of all, even though we are clearly tourists, no one bugs you there since it was so busy with locals buying stuff they don't need your business. They also sell all kinds of souvenirs, turkish delight, fruits, nuts and spices. We ended up getting some dried apricots, which were the literally the best ones I have ever had in my entire life. I knew the dried apricots we got at home were from Turkey, but it is amazing how much better fresh, dried fruit it! Still juicy if you can believe it. Every bite we took, we were both commenting on how good they were! As we made our way up to the Grand Bazaar, we stopped in at a few more mosques that were still in use. They are all very similar, but still beautiful to see. The Grand Bazaar was fun, but not as good as the spice one. This one was a little more touristy, but enormous!!! I can understand why people end up spending hours there.
On our way out, we realized that there was some filming taking place. When I asked what it was I found out they were filming the newest James Bond movie. Too bad it was just the stunt double and not Daniel Craig! Apparently, the stunt had crashed into a store the day before. Whoops!!
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