Dateline: Istanbul, Day 2 – Touring Istanbul

Istanbul, Turkey
23 June 2009

For better or worse, I feel like Charlie may be the end of me on this trip. I’ve already been traveling pretty much non-stop for three weeks and now I’ve got an eager beaver who wants to see it all.

Today, we went to the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar, the Old Bazaar, bought Turkish Delight1, walked across the Galata bridge, walked up to Galata Kulesi, and over to the Kabataş ferry which took us to Üsküdar (on the Asian side of Istanbul).

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Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey


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Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey


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Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey


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Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey


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Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey


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Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey


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Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey


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Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey


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Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey


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Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey

We walked around Ãœsküdar for a while before returning to what we thought was Emınönü”Ž (which would have been for a short walk back), but we ended up going to BeşıktaÅŸ, which is further north (north being the wrong direction) of KabataÅŸ. The north end of the tram only runs to KabataÅŸ, so we had to hike it the 1.5 kilometers to the tram before we could relax in air-conditioned comfort. We later learned that today has been one of the hottest day day in Istanbul this year. Great.

We took a nap before venturing into the somewhat cooler evening to find some well deserved grub. A kebab house fit the bill pretty perfectly and all was good.

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Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey


  1. which has led to a slew of rather off-color jokes 

Plans for Russia and Turkey

My friend, Eric Boyd, left this comment on my Facebook wall regarding my trip:

That should be a lot of fun. Watch out for Gypsies though. I’ve heard they like to break into train compartments and rob you blind. But I’m sure in your case they will try to unzip your suitcase and find themselves fighting for their lives against an army of death-ray wielding nanobots;)

They’re actually going to be sporting 1.21 jigawatt lasers, not death-rays.

After talking to Jeff the other week, I called up Mr. Staples (Jeff’s dad) to ask about what travel agency they used. Mr. Staples referred me to Mir Corporation. I took a look at their packages, and they’re quite expensive ($5,000 for 10 days), plus their dates don’t line up with mine. They did, however, have some very useful information on their website.

I’ve received my official invitation, filled out the visa application, and had my visa picture taken last week. Today I sent everything, plus my cover letter and a $131 check in the mail to Dad. Dad will add my passport to the set and drop it off at the Russian Consulate in Downtown Seattle. It will take no less than six days to process it, so here goes nothing.

Russia

  • Moscow
    • The Central Museum of Armed Forces1
      70 ruble, or 30 ruble if I get the student discount, plus another 100 ruble so I can take photos
    • Kremlin Armory Museum
      700 ruble, or 200 ruble if I get the student discount
    • Cosmonautics Memorial Museum
    • The Polytechnical Museum at the Ilinsky Gates
    • Moscow State University Zoological Museum
    • Underground Moscow

Useful resources: http://www.moscow.info/

I also talked with my friend, Erin, who’s currently in Turkey. She gave me the low down on what’s what in Turkey.

  • Turkey
    • Istanbul (2 days-ish, Hackett did 4 days)
      • Grand Bizarre
      • Blue Mosque
  • Antalya
  • Ephesus (1 day)
  • Cappadocia (1-2 days)
  • Ankara
    • Capital
    • Turkish Aerospace Industries2

Erin also says I need to :

  • See a Whirling Dervish dance
  • Eat Gözleme and Kanafeh3
  • Read up on Atatürk
  • “Also, when in Turkey, you can’t miss out on a Turkish bath. Its a fairly odd experience at first, but you have to do it!”

Random thought, do I need a phone?


  1. http://www.cmaf.ru/eng/index_eng.htm 

  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_737_AEW&C#Turkey 

  3. Erin says, “kunefe, my favorite dessert…it rhymes with ‘tunafay'”