Trip Start Jan 24, 2012
98Trip End Sep 04, 2012
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Where I stayed
I left Athens two days ago. I took a train, a taxi, an overnight bus, a Metro, and walked and I eventually found the hostel in Istanbul (There was a direct bus from Athens to Istanbul but it only leaves twice a week and it wasn't leaving for another couple of days). This hostel is awesome. They have a curtain to cover the bed, a keycode for the room (The code is Mom and Pops anniversary if anyone wants to break in), and a mirror, hanging bag, and plug for all the bunk beds which is really convienent for the traveler.
Free breakfast was very good for a hostel. Hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, chees, etc. Theres also a rooftop bar and restaurant where I had kebabs and beers last night. They also sell hooka.
Today I took a walking tour. The guide was really good. She really knew the history of everything. The history of this city is so intregeing and the places are so beautiful and full of different religions and cultures. Let's see if I can remember any fun facts. Turkey is 3% in Europe and 97% in Asia. I think I can see Asia from the hostel rooftop. I saw the 7th largest diamond in the world today. A ignorant poor person got swindled and sold it to a shop for 3 spoons so they call it the spoon diamond. I saw Mahammad's footprints and belongings. I saw an exhibit with all these bad ass weapons.
Also the Hippodrome here is less of a hipster theather (like in Gainesville) and more a place where they used to perform chariot races. I saw Viking graffiti in the Hagia Sophia. The officials used to sell the tiny tiles from the mosaics to visitors but they stopped that in the 1930s. But now the bottom half of all these famous mosaics are gone. Also the circumsicion room had a bunch of water fountains in it so people outside couldn't hear the screams and to relax the males after they got snipped. The Grand Bazaar is old and crowed and started in 1400s and 60,000 square meters.
I spent half of the day trying to locate the only bus in Istanbul (The 'bul, as Rachel calls it) that goes directly to Romania. I'm leaving on it tomorrow.
I'm also had a fresh fish kebab from a floating boat at the dock but they handed it over to me and I ate it on dry land. I also took a ferry from the Europe side to Asia and back. It took about 40 minutes so that is neat. Due to online booking confusion, the hostel upgraded me for free from a four person dorm to a two person room. It's my day. My new French girl roomate is cool and she taught me about France and I taught her about America, the best country ever.