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Other sights from around town


Dinner with the kids is always interesting. They ended up eating lots of bread and pasta. But that seemed to meet wit Breck's approval, and it gave them lots of energy for late night explorations!


The hippodrome used to run down what is the main street in front of the Blue Mosque. Of course, that was 2000 years ago, and there's not much left. There is still a gigantic Egyptian obelisk that was brought in (right). It is interesting to note that the much older obelisk is still sharp and clear, while the 'newer' Roman base is quite badly eroded.
In the middle of the hippodrome there now stands a small podium with gilded roof, a gift from Germany in the early 20th century.

Shopping sights

If our shopping pages weren't enough, here are a few more images taken while cruising the city:


The state-run carpet shop is located right across from the Hagia Sophia and features guaranteed quality (as well as non-negotiable prices). I popped in one morning and bought a kilim rug just because I felt obligated to. I figured that I owed myself that much, having visited the city three times!!

There simply seems no end to the amount of 'stuff' for sale in the city, from bracelets (which Alea likes)

to fancy Fez hats (which Breck likes)

to fresh bread and weavings (which Susan likes)

to hookahs with many different flavors (which Dave likes)

to yummy pomegranates and other fruit juices (which we all like)

For a more traditional shopping district, head across the river, where (semi) pedestrian zones house shops with all the latest stuff you could want.

If all the shopping leaves you winded, you can always trot around town with a chauffeur, but you'll have to run the gauntlet of tea salesmen who glide along the sidewalks between the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque.


When I came for a soccer tournament in fall 2006, the other coach convinced me that we had to go to the Turkish baths. It was a 3 hour affair, completely undocumented photographically, that involved hot water, copious amounts of foamed soap, and a warm oil massage that left me ready to wilt. Quite an experience...

Luckily enough there was a hookah in our future...

and a hot cup of coffee in the shadow of the Blue Mosque next morning...

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