Our first glimpse of the Blue Mosque happened the first night we arrived in Istanbul. Ann and I made it to our hotel after overnight flights and a wild, nausea inducting shuttle ride, so the need to stretch our legs was great. It should be noted that we arrived in Istanbul sans a Turkey Guide book and, well, we won’t note that I only had about $75USD due to a bank fiasco…clearly planning wasn’t on my side for night one. Thus, we set out with the decision that we would only walk straight down the road with the tiny postcard sized map from the hotel in hand so not to get lost on our first outing. After about five minutes we emerged onto a square and poof there was the Aya Sofya and the Blue Mosque right in front of us. It was an amazing and well-illuminated site.
Fast forward to our first full day and we had lots to see which included a trip to the Blue Mosque and meeting by far one of the funnier Turkish men (in comparison to the annoying ones that inspired lots of Minnesota niceness and even more California annoyance…I’ll let you guess who was who).
So in addition to finding the Blue Mosque, we also picked up a friend while searching for the visitor’s entrance. A mini tour of the Blue Mosque, photos and the line “let me have your camera and I will go where visitors can’t go and take special pictures” later (we clearly gave him Ann’s camera as I held his shoes as a guarantee), he led us to Jennifer’s Turkish Towel shop. Jennifer the Canadian. My English speaking soul sang with a joy that can’t even be imagined. Shopping! Textiles! English! I think Ann may have laughed at how gleeful I was. My bank account left a little lighter.
Oh, and there was mid day break for lunch and some tea. I’m telling you, tea…everywhere! Epic fail when you’re the girl that doesn’t really do hot beverages. Needless to say, every waiter loved Ann and was annoyed with me, or that could be my complete inability to put up with the offers to have someone “teach me turkish”…
I may not have see Taken, but I know how this whole “teach you the language” thing goes, it’s called you go on vacation get and kidnapped/offed. Maybe. Back on topic now.
Next up, Ann and Whitney go to a palace. And maybe do some more shopping. (It’s me on a vacation, do we expect anything less).