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Our Magnificent Journey
Chapter 13
Greece, Turkey and Spain


At the Parthenon  
Day 17

We slept like rocks for nine hours.


After another delicious breakfast at the hotel, we walked north to the Spice Bazaar and spent two hours perusing the wares, spices, nuts, candy, pickles, fruit, scarves and all sorts of assorted sundry items. Bought goodies for our loved ones, then dashed back to the hotel to stash our loot.

At Istanbul's famous Spice Bazaar
At Istanbul's famous Spice Bazaar

Then we hiked back up the hill past Topkapi Palace to Kars Halicilik, a shop we had stopped at yesterday (I had noticed some beautiful Turkish shirts for Carol but she was too tired to try anything on at the time.) Spent some time in the shop as Carol tried on harem shirts. Schmoozed with the personable proprietor, negotiated a fair price, snapped his photo, thanked him, said goodbye, than moseyed back down the hill to the hotel to stash this newest loot.


At 12:30 we walked down to the Bosphoros and sat under the Galata Bridge at Cansin Café for delicious fish sandwiches and tea.

Enjoying the food at the Galata Bridge
Scene from the Galata Bridge

After our brief and delicious lunch we walked across the Galata Bridge to Pera, then walked back across the bridge and right onto a movie set – a movie was being filmed on the bridge.


After that excitement, we hopped on a Bosphorus tour boat and spent the next two hours relaxing as the boat slowly crawled up the European side, then crossed over to the Asian side and back down. The day is sunny but cool and it was a great way to spend two hours and ten Turkish lira in Istanbul.

David and Carol on a boat tour of the Bosphorus
Mosque in Istanbul

After the relaxing boat ride, we walked back to the hotel for tea just as the evening call to prayer sang out from a nearby mosque.


At 5 pm Carol went downstairs for a hamam, also known as a Turkish bath - the Turkish variant of a steam bath, sauna or Russian bath, distinguished by a focus on water, as distinct from ambient steam.  A person taking a Turkish bath first relaxes in a room (known as the warm room) that is heated by a continuous flow of hot, dry air allowing the bather to perspire freely. Bathers may then move to an even hotter room (known as the hot room) before splashing themselves with cold water. After performing a full body wash and receiving a massage, bathers finally retire to the cooling-room for a period of relaxation.


As I waited for Carol in our hotel room, I threw open the windows. It is 6 pm, the sun is low to the west, and multitudes of scents of roasting chestnuts, broiled lamb, incense and the sea drift in, along with a cacophony of traffic, beeping horns, cats meowing, voices – the hum of humanity. I close my eyes and imagine many of these same sensory experiences going back hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

Carol ready for her hamam

At 6:15 pm Carol made it back to the room after her relaxing hamam. The sauna and hot oil massage were exactly what she needed after two weeks of walking through Asia and Europe.


We began packing for tomorrow’s flight back to Athens, then headed out into the evening. Bought a cheap sports bag for all of the loot we’re bringing home, then selected Cappadocia Restaurant once again, this time for a delicious dinner of mezze, stuffed grape leaves, grilled fresh fish and local red wine. A very enjoyable dining experience.

Dinner at the Cappadocia Restaurant

Back at the hotel at 9 pm, we visited with Peter and Jan, a lovely, friendly couple from Australia. They are heading to Dubai while we are heading to Barcelona.


Enjoyed a dessert of baklava and ouzo at the hotel. Visited with our friends Theresa, Karen and Paula, who leave tomorrow for Cappadocia.


At 10:30 pm we were back in the room, exhausted after a day of fun and adventure in one of the world’s ancient and historic cities.


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