Thursday, July 9, 2009


Turkey is two countries behind me now, and I am sad to leave it. Going to Istanbul was a good decision, though I missed Syria.

Istanbul has so much history and culture that three days is hardly enough to do it justice. I focused on the Sultanahmet, where the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia and Grand Bazaar are found. The peace and beauty of the Blue Mosque is hard to beat and the architeture of the Hagia Sofia is a sight to behold. But my favorite spot in Istanbul turned out to be the Basilica Cistern. This large underground cistern is cool and dark - quite a contrast to the rest of Istanbul above ground. Built almost 1500 years ago, it is an amazing place that fills the spirit with wonder and peace. It is awesome to imagine the people above the cistern gathering their water with buckets lowered through their floors or catching fish (there are lots.) The classical music set a traquil mood. Speaking of classical music, I stayed in the Taksim are which is filled with music shops. I browsed through the shops with a pianist and an opera singer from San Francisco and the pianist found a baby grand and he played several beautiful pieces that had everyone captivated. - Thanks for that highlight Kevin!

Last night I sat across from Saudi Arabia watching the moon rise while I sipped a Stella. More about that in a bit, but first, I will create a post for the last country I visited.

Until then, bye.