The Potato Rock

Today we had no plans, so we slept in til 8 and got the room packed up.  Fortunately we got to talk to Bryan on Skype, which was great since the kids are so happy in the morning.  Avi jumped up and down for him while Zoe showed him the pictures she had taken with her little camera.  We checked out around 11 and stowed our bags with the hotel owner.  He and the older gentleman have been such a great help. 

We sauntered up to the tram stop and crammed our bodies into the tram one last time for a final trip to the Grand Bazaar.  I was on a quest for a copper tea kettle and Bethany wanted to check out the jewelry again.  It was packed today!  The nice weather and impending weekend must bring out the crowds. Before going into the bazaar walls we grabbed some grilled cheese, hotdog, and muffin breakfast.  yum. and cheap.  After wandering around for a long time we stumbled into an old caravansary or han in the market.  It’s an old building that used to be a sealed off home with a central courtyard that housed travelling merchants and their camels.  The architecture was neat.  The other big success was finding the copper section where I was taught about the different copper pots and kettles.  Eventually I found one that I loved that was usable – many are lacquered for decoration and not actually usable.  The vendor wanted 70 lira, but after a lot of chatting, laughing, describing, and a potential sale walking away I got it for 45.  Sweet. I love bartering…especially here where they are polite.

 By the afternoon we were tired and hungry and low on cash.  To avoid hitting the ATM again we ate at mcdonalds.  It tasted as usual.  The big fun for the afternoon was a nice walk to the park for a leisurely afternoon at the playground.  Zoe had fun playing on the playground and throwing stuff into a puddle.  Unfortunatley she got her shoes and socks all wet and had to deal with cold wet feet for the rest of the day.  It was cool today, but sunny.  The wind, however, was cold especially when a cloud covered the sun.  brrr..  Avi really liked playing in a small field of daisies.  It was the perfect photo op below the Topkapi palace.  As the kids tired we got them setup in the strollers for a rolling nap and Bethany and I quested for a post office to send a postcard.  That took forever, but also took us past all the sights again for some lovely sunny pictures. 

We picked up some Chinese takeout on the way, and when the kids woke ended up staying for some tea and warming up.  Zoe enjoyed the Chinese tea and Avi enjoyed being the center of attention playing in their front window for all the passers-by.  Bethany and I were tired of walking and tired of the city and tired of the crowds, so at 6pm we rolled into our hotel common room to watch some Ice Age, color a bit, eat our Chinese, and do the blog before heading off for the train station.  We’ll do that in 10 minutes.  Our train departs in an hour and the walk over to the train will take us about 20 minutes.  Better to be early.  Tonight we ride the Bosphor Express from Istanbul to Plovdiv.  I’m excited to get to sleep.

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