13,000 steps later…

Today Susan Wright, Vicki Buholz and I went to Istanbul. We left at about 4am from Ali Bey. Two of my bags didn’t make it to the luggage carousel but as of tonight Turkish Airlines did deliver them to our hotel room. We are sharing a fairly small triple twin room…there’s not an inch to spare between beds and I have to jump onto my bed from the end…no room to walk around it…let’s say it’s cozy (wall to wall luggage adds to the ambience).

We walked to the Grand Bazaar, Vicki and Susan hadn’t been there and we had a lot of fun looking at the vast array of wares from jewelry to pottery to pillow coverings to rugs to key chains. The Grand Bazaar is a covered shopping mall full of Turkish and probably Chinese made wares. It was jam packed today with people, I’ve never seen it so crowded. We had a great Turkish lunch of Kabobs, bread and hummus and walked to the Blue Mosque. It’s beautiful inside and outside, with gorgeous tile work, stained glass windows and persian rugs inside. We had to take off our shoes and cover our hair before entering.

After many photos of the mosque and the Hagia Sophia, a nearby church turned museum, we walked down to the Galeta Bridge near the spice market. There were nice views of the city from the bridge and dozens, maybe over a hundred fishermen catching fish off the bridge. At the end of the bridge is a fish market which was busy even after 7pm. We decided to eat at one of the many restaurants by the bridge. Susan asked about the sea bass and the waiter picked up a sea bass off of a big platter of fresh fish and that’s what we had for dinner. Since we’d only walked 9000 steps we decided to walk back to our hotel and that took almost 4000 more steps…it felt something like NY City, since everything was open late. I’ve never seen so many candy stores, the Turkish people must love Turkish delight and Baklava.

Daylight savings starts here tomorrow…we’re off to Topaki Palace and the Bosphorous tour tomorrow if all goes as planned.

Diane won the worlds easily over Ros Balodis; Danny Waldman won the men’s 55 singles; Mark Vines and Wesley Cash won the 55 doubles; Scott Works won the 45 doubles. Shelly Works won the consolation 45 singles.

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