Thursday, June 17, 2010

museum, spices and a boat ride

Thursday, 6.17.2010 Istanbul

Walk! Walk! Walk! Walk!!!! Wednesday we walked 10,526 steps according to Jeanette Rodriquez one of our co-travelers who wore a pedometer!!! Today we continued on by going over to the Karakoy Jewish Museum driving over the Galata Bridge to the Asian side of Istanbul and crossing the Golden Horn. The Museum strongly supports the generosity of the Turks in accepting Jews into Turkey. Following the visit we joined locals in Cay and street dancing! (video to come)

We continued walking down narrow up hill winding streets of cobblestone with exciting shops on either side.....We arrived at the Galata Tower which was once a lighthouse but now gives wonderful views of the entire city! There was an elevator!!! which took us part way up and then winding winding stairways to the outer view sports. It was built in the year 528 and continued to be a lighthouse until recently where it has become a tourist view spot!! The views were fantastic and we could see both the European and Asian side, houses, government buildings, and the Turkish flags everywhere.

The Spice Market was so exciting, busy, with sights and sounds and smells and gobs and gobs of people going in and coming out. Built about 300 years ago, it continues to be a meeting place for social gatherings and shopping. The spices are brilliant in color and smell!! We really enjoyed walking (did I say we enjoyed walking AGAIN??). But you can see by the photos, the place is fantastic!

After lunch, we headed to the Bosphorus Strait and boarded ship for a wonderful two hour boat trip down the Strait to the entrance of the Black Sea. The homes were first rate and very beautiful. The breeze was welcoming and we all stayed up top on the back of the boat enjoying the scenery and looking at history all around us! What a great day and the education we received cannot be surpassed!

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