Day 1: Istanbul On our Own (8-13-2011)
I did wake up with the call to prayer that started around Four in the morning. then fell back a sleep. at the time of this writing it is Ramadan so there was also a sun rise call to prayer tell people know to start fasting during the sun lit day.
At 9:30 we made it down to breakfast and began to eat.I ate as much as I could fruit, Yogurt and Cheese it took a lot of return trips to the buffet. All of it was very good. I really enjoyed the Turkish yogurt. Turkish yogurt is almost like an even thicker greek yogurt.
We then proceeded to go to the new town (Still in Istanbul). The City of Istanbul is divided into two parts, New town and Old town. We were fortunate and hitched a ride with a tour bus that was only taking one other person. They dropped us off and the driver told us that we just had to go strait down the road to get where we wanted to go. We even asked a tour guide where to go and they told us to go strait down the road. We still became lost. then started our hunt for the square were Tower Galata was located. It took a few turns and a helpful hand but we were able to get to the square. It was a long walk through but it was very scenic and we did stop at a wonderful pastry location were I had a cheese plater and a cheery topped cheese cake (it look like cheese cake, was not cheese cake) and then we continued on. when we arrived at the tower the first thing I thought was good thing I stopped at this fork in the road to look around. because the other building could have blocked it from view. with in a few moments of getting there and waiting in line we were taking the elevator (yes elevator ) up the tower. there we walked around and were able to take a full view of Istanbul. it was amazing the weather was clear and the lighting was crisp allowing us to see several of the larger mosques in the old part of the city.
Afterward we made our way back. Fortunately we found some taxi's and took a 8 minute ride back to the hotel (when walking took around 5 hours including lunch [a long lunch]). we then met the rest of the people that were traveling with us then we all went back to our respective rooms where i took night shots of the city. Now I'm looking forward to the next day that will start very early in the morning.