Istanbul Day 6, 7, & 8 (Turkey Day 26, 27 & 28):

This is it folks – the last of the Turkey trip – written hastily on Sunday morning as we are heading to the airport!

Friday – Istanbul Day 6 – Turkey Day 26

On Friday we were going to do museums. On the way to our first one we saw some wonderful views of the Haghia Sophia. Our fist stop though was the Palace Mosaic Museum which was very nice – they just built a building around the mosaics they found.

We then went to the Archeological Museum – which really was worth it – we spent hours and hours there and it just went on and on. We have a great time exploring and reading though it would have been nice if all of it had air conditioning (it got stuffy at times). The Tiled Kiosk (also part of the Museum) was truly amazing and a real spot of color on a very monochromatic museum.

Yesterday we had passed another museum and we took a tram back out to see the Panorama 1452 museum. This museum is a giant dome that gives you an immersive experience when you stare out at this giant painting. It was clearly for children – who were having a great time. It did kind of grow on you after a while but it could just have been cognitive dissonance too.

Lastly we headed to Sirkeci Station which was the final destination for The Orient Express. Just some doors and some signs but it was very much (like the entire day was) – stepping back into history.

Istanbul Day 6 – Summary:
Palace Mosaic Museum
Archeological Museum
Panorama 1452 Museum
Sirkeci Station

Saturday – Istanbul Day 7 – Turkey Day 27

Saturday – our last full day in Istanbul and we have done everything on my list and then some! Today was pickup shopping day – we needed to get the last of our souvenirs. Since we did have some time to kill we took the trains out to Cevahir – the largest mall in Europe (and 6th largest mall in the world), It was fun to see the 6 stories of mall and marvel at the similarities and the differences.

We had lunch at the food course (which was awesome) and as we decided to go to a movie. We went to see Salt. Now yes I would be back in the US tomorrow but its always a fun experience. For instance – it was assigned seating! You picked where you would sit and an usher helped you in. The had cans of drinks in the theater. No butter on the popcorn. And half way through – an intermission – they just stopped the movie – the lights went up and an ad played for a few minutes. See you learn something – oh and the movie sucked – but we all knew that. I wasn’t about to go see inception and be distracted by the Turkish subtitles.

We then headed back to the Grand Bazaar to do some more shopping (outside it not inside it) and I took some photos of Istanbul University (which is very pretty) and even though it was mostly covered we walked to see the outside of the Suleymainye Mosque and the Tomb of the Sultan Suleyman I. We then went back shopping (all sorts of humor was had trying to find the price of fake perfume) and without rescuing a Turkish kitten headed back to the hotel.

We stopped for dinner VERY near the hotel and the lights went out everywhere – the blackout lasted for some time but the restaurant hand emergency power so we had a nice time waiting for it to restore.

Finally we came back to the hotel where we played music bags. Eventually we decided on having me take the souvenirs and Jenny take the dirty laundry – we will see if the balance of weight works (and if customs thinks I am crazy for having no clothes).

Right before we went to bed I went to the top of the hotel and got this amazing night shot of the Blue Mosque and the Haghia Sophia.

Istanbul Day 7 – Summary:
Cevahir Shopping Center
Istanbul University
Suleymainye Mosque
Tomb of the Sultan Suleyman I.

Sunday – Istanbul Day 8 – Turkey Day 28
Up and out! Jenny’s flight is at 9am mine is at 11:20am we will be home tonight around 11pm!

Thanks for watching everyone!
A month is a long time to be gone!

[Re-posted from my University Blog & Edited 07/01/2011]