|Observing Muslim culture inside |
|Outside of Blue Mosque|
|Blue Mosque through the fountain|
(once a church now a mosque)
I also found the red bus that will take me on a tour of the whole city for a very reasonable price and a travel agency that turned out took up a large portion of the day. I hadn't heard back from the tour agency that I had contacted while I was in Sofia, so I decided to get some information about a couple day trips. This is where I met Murat, my travel consultant. Here I booked a tour for tomorrow to Princes' Island and Tuesday for a tour of the Bhosphorus. I was feeling very proud of myself for getting so much accomplished in just a couple hours. I had to go back to the hotel to get some money to pay for the tours, and then I was out again to find a restaurant and pay for my tours. I went back to the travel agency to quickly pay my balance, but it turned into a cultural lesson. I had my first Turkish coffee, and learned how to tell a fortune by flipping the cup upside down and stacking coins on top (for a fortune related to money, but you can also stack rings for marriage, or keys for a home) and waiting for the sludge on the bottom to slide into a pattern. I said some Turkish saying and flipped over the cup to find, according to Murat, the skyline of Istanbul. That could mean a couple things I suppose. I hope it means that I will return to Istanbul some day. Then we sat for a while looking at a book with beautiful photos of Istanbul. I got a mini history lesson, and I met a dad from South Africa who will be on my tour on Tuesday. It was great to just hang out and chat for a while.
|Gift from Ihsan|