After our big morning out – taking the hour long bus to the hospital, getting Avi’s arm adjusted, cab to the airport, train and tram back to the hotel – it was 1pm and I was sleepy. He and I got back to the hotel while Zoe had spent the morning with Aunt Bethany.
Zoe and Bethany stayed in for a while during the torrential downpour I walked through to the bus stop and then took the tram to the Cistern. It’s a very old very large underground water storage area made from ‘leftover’ marble columns and structures from older buildings. I guess Zoe loved it…she keeps talking about how cool it was and they threw some coins in the wish fountain. There are some columns supported by older chunks of carved medusa heads – one was too big to lay upwards so it’s layed sidways. After that they visited the beautiful park within the Topkapi Palace walls that are right here near our hotel; I guess there were lots of kitties to see. The stray cats here are everywhere, and kind of nice and tame….not too scraggly. Zoe fell asleep in the stroller so Bethany whiled away lunchtime at a coffee shop.
Meanwhile, Avi and I were getting situated for a nap back at the hotel. It felt so good to just rest. Bethany and a sleeping Zuzz came in after a bit and also napped. We all woke up around 5 pm to an amazing site – the SUN shining in the windows. It was awesome. We haven’t seen the sun since we left Germany. In fact, the owner downstairs told me this is the first time in some 35 years it’s been so cold and rainy for more than just a day. Great. We packed up and went out to the New Mosque (which is 400 years old) and the spice market.
This morning while waiting for the bus I discovered where it was; I was wandering trying to find something for breakfast at a dry place. The mosque was truly beautiful inside with tons of blue tiling and a wonderful big courtyard. Zoe wanted to do a prayer while we were there. As we left she bought a corn cob from a street vendor on our way to the spice market. It’s really a neat place – candies, spices, teas, and the typical tourist Tshirts and stuff in a small version of the grand bazaar. It also locks at night, which we got to witness since it was past 7 by the time we left.
We found a nice cheapo cafe with an eating area in the market walls to grab some dinner, chill out, and watch the world go by. During the call for prayer it was noticeably empty on the streets. Then as we walked back to the hotel we realized we hadn’t been out after dark yet. It was a nice night so we grabbed some baklava for dessert and walked around. There are lots of nice indoor/outdoor cafe’s in our area that just haven’t gotten business with the bad weather. Tonight, though, its bustling! Bethany even found a great deal on a lamp before we returned to the hotel for a nice shower and off to bed. It has turned into quite a nice visit to Istanbul – now that Avi’s arm is better and the sun is coming out tomorrow. No rush to see everything, since we have a couple more days. I guess it has all worked out well.