I realize the Hilary JUST posted something, but I’ve been neglecting my duties as co-blogger, but as you will hopefully see, I have some pretty good excuses for not blogging.
Now, where did I leave you guys last? Oh right! Asia!
After my quick sojourn over to Asia, I returned back to the hostel and decided to take a quick trip over to the Grand Bazaar and Spice Markets. I have to say after the Souqs of Marrakesh, I was a little disappointed with the markets in Istanbul. Because I wasn’t in the mood for leather, knock-off handbags or jewellery, I was a little out of my market (if you pardon the pun), but none the less it was pretty exciting to explore this marketplace that’s been there for hundreds of years.
The following day was filled with visiting most of the touristic sites in Sultanamet, the old city district of the city with my new Ozzy friend Chris. First stop was visiting the Ayasofia, probably the most famous of the sites in the city. Dating back from the 500’s AD this cathedral turned mosque turned museum, was one impressive site!! With six minarets, this building stands out from the rest of Istanbul despite being surrounded by mosques on all sides.
After the Ayasofia was the Cisterns of Istanbul. I have to say this was hands down my favourite place in Istanbul. This underground facility was used to collect water for the different cities that have stood where Istanbul is today. Before going to the cistern, I had no idea what it looked like nor what I was getting myself into, and to be honest that made it 10 times better. Therefore, I’ve made the executive decision, not to post my pictures from the cistern to maintain the element of surprise for you budding travellers.
Once we were back above ground again, Chris and I headed to the archaeology museum which was pretty cool! The museum is filled with TONS of crazy artifacts from the Babylonia, Egypt, Roman and Greek empires. All and all a pretty cool experience.
Now after all our touring, both Chris and I were pretty tired. We split up and found ways to beat the heat. Chris decided to watch the finale of the Tour de France and watch his fellow countryman win the race, while I decided to nap. That evening we met up with two German girls, Evi and Michaela and we became fast friends. The girls told us that they were heading to the Black Sea to check out a small fishing village that was supposed to have an amazing beach, something which Istanbul sadly lacks. After they extended the invitation to join, both Chris and I happily accepted.
The next morning, the four of us made our way (slowly) to Kilyos, about 2 hours north of Istanbul. WHAT a day. That’s all I really have to say. It was so nice to get out of the city and avoid the hussle and bussle. It was a great day, and so far is one of my favourite memories of the place.
After my day on the beach, I sadly had to say goodbye to Istanbul, and head towards Echeabat, southwest of Istanbul. The city is famous for being close Gallipoli a fairly, major battlefield during WWI. My time in Echaebat was split between snorkling over a sunken WWI transport ship and touring the battlefields. Snorkelling was an awesome experience! After touring the sunken ship, we could explore the reefs for relics from WWI. After about 10 minutes of hunting, I was able to find a British bullet from one of the initial sieges. After showing it off to my fellow snorkelers, I tossed it back into the ocean for other treasure hunters to find. Overall my time in Echaebat was very informative. While Canadians played a very very limited (aka almost none besides Newfoundlanders) it was still an eyeopening experience.
My time in Gallipoli was fairly short, but I’ve made my way to Selcuk further south in Turkey and tomorrow I will tour the ancient ruins of Ephesus (google for some cool photos)
Well, I realize this post is a fairly monsterous one so I will leave it hear. I meet up with Hilary next Wednesday and I CANNOT wait to see her! As much fun as it is to always be making friends, I’m excited for beaching and lounging with my bud.