More sailing on the high seas with good food. good company and good entertainment aboard ship. We reached Kudidasi and Shirley and I had booked separate tours to Ephesus. We each had a good tour, had dinner aboard ship and then went to see the evening show. Then it was on to the next port of Mykanos. We would dock at 7:00am.
We are scheduled for the 2nd day of our tour which is the inside of the Blue Mosque and the Grand bazaar. We were on the bus early to beat the crowds which we did. Then we went to the Grand Bazaar for a carpet demonstration. The demonstration was actually very informative. We were provided with Roku? A liquor like Ouzo- I think to make us more amenable to buying. We walked around for a while and then headed for the bus to take us back to the ship.
We were up early so we could get on the bus and start our tour of Istanbul. We got on the bus, the tour guide introduced herself and off we went- only to sit in gridlock traffic. The traffic is worse here than in Rome when the Metro was on strike. However we made it to the first stop the Hagia Sophia. It looked better in pictures than it does in person. There is a great deal of restoration going on, but it really is in a state of disrepair. We had a photo op because we stopped between the blue mosque and the Hagia Sophia and the park between them is quite nice. After the Hahia Sophia we went to the underground cistern. That was really impressive. Then off to Topkapi Palace. We could have waited in a long line to see the 86 carat diamond, but we had to be at the restaurant for lunch at noon. The decision was made that we could be on our own for a half hour at the palace and then go to lunch. Shirley and I went to the meeting room and the clock room(no pics). The clock room was impressive. I wish the signs had been a bit more descriptive, but the clocks and watches were well worth seeing, We then stood in a long line for the treasury to see the diamond and the Topkapi dagger. I took pictures even though they weren’t allowed. Then we went to the ancient Hoppodromr which is just a ruin. Then off we went to the spice market. It is like a flea market, but offers samples like Sam’s Club. I bought a few dates, figs and sundried apricots. Because traffic was so bad we walked to our boat for a cruise on the Bodphorus. It was a nice boat ride that really gave us a broad view of Istanbul.
We returned to the ship just in time for dinner. So of course we went and ate. The ship was having a belly dancing show poolside at 9pm. We went to see the show. The show was great but the temperature started out chilly and went to cold. Shirley went to the room, but I stayed until the end and then went to a lounge to hear karaoke. I left at midnight because we have to be up very early for the rest of our Istanbul tour.
There is no wifi on the ship and shore connections are nonexistent or just not good. I can’t upload any pictures and have difficulty sending any part of the blog.
Today was another travel day for the ship. Too much food and plenty to do. I am friendly with a family from India and we give each other’s tips on what to see in different ports. The trip into Turkey is beautiful. Going through the Marmara Straight is amazing. The views from the ship are spectacular!!! I watched the pilot come aboard and then leave again. Thank goodness the seas were calm. The pilot boat pulls alongside the ship and the pilot grabs a rope ladder and climbs up the side of the ship. To disembark he does the reverse. Traveling at night was also beautiful. I’ll tell you I had beef cheeks for dinner-yummy.
I also forgot that when we were getting on the tender in Santorini they too us through the crew’s quarters. Much nicer than I expected.