Our last day in Istanbul was anticlimactic. After waking up and having Turkish breakfast (bread, jam, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers and hard boiled egg) on the roof terrace of our hotel we headed down to the Basilica Cistern. It was a little creepy, made more so by the spooky music playing in the underground cavern, but really pretty cool. Not entirely sure it was worth the 10YTL entrance fee, however perhaps I am just getting a little tired of touristy things and having to pay to see history.
We braved a monsoon to walk with our leaky umbrellas to Topkapi Palace (jeans wet to the knees) only to decide that we just didn't have it in us to do any more touristy things for pricey rates. So we headed off for some retail therapy in the form of the Grand Bazaar. This is possibly the loudest place in the world. There are men and women lining the streets selling you things, trying to get you to come into their shops. Also IN the street are people with little carts on wheels that move out of the way for cars and then immediately return to the street to resume commerce. Often the carts are selling things like spiro-sketch toys that remind you of when you were 8 and make you wonder who would ever buy one! The Grand Bazaar proved to be a little to much for us when not at top form, so after haggling for a few items (pillow cases for Jill and tea cups for me) we headed to the less busy and much more interesting (to us) Spice Bazaar. Yum yum yum. Spices and sweets and nuts and other goodies. We were much cheered up after leaving here. We stopped at a little supermarket to buy some food type items (olives, etc.) that we wanted and also purchased a lovely new suitcase to haul back all our goodies.
This was another day of fending off Turkish men. It is really hard not to be rude sometimes, and it takes a lot to make me that way, however by the end of the day it was getting really tiresome. Jill had no problem being rude to the guy that asked her if she was my mom though! By late afternoon we were ready to drink and headed off to a pub (playing Nickleback of all things... can't escape them even in Turkey!) for some 8 YTL VERY strong vodka tonics. I decided that the best cure for the end of a vacation was to get drunk, with Jill's still somewhat sick body doing the supervising. Early night of packing up the bags for the last time for our early flight the next morning.
This morning we were up and at em' at 4:30 am to get to the airport, only to find our flight from Istanbul had been delayed by 3 hours. After a couple of dicey moments and some running down the concourse, we made it to our connection in London (with enough time to enjoy one last Magners before hopping on the plane!). A loooong flight later (made longer with no sleeping and no personal TV's on the plane!) we are back on home turf. We are tired and in need of showers and a lot of photo editing! We plan on going back and updating some of the blog entries with pictures and elaborating on some of our experiences that were only briefly mentioned, so stay tuned for that.