22.04.2015 - 22.04.2015
Not an early start for the final day of my one month overseas holiday. The rain was pouring outside so there was no incentive to rush out for some sightseeing. After packing my bags, breakfast (bread & honey one last time) I eventually decided to head out during a break in the weather. I made my way to the Blue mosque for a second visit. It was not long before the rain returned. I was stranded in the Blue mosque with all the cruise ship groups, my worst nightmare come true! Outside the mosque, the hawkers were selling umbrellas at an exorbitant price. After a while I decided the 20L was worth the cost and was soon on my way under my new umbrella. I observed that around 1 in 3 tourists had made the same purchase, rain is good for business if you are a hawker!
I made my way to Topkapi palace. This was not high on my to visit list but it at least is indoors. As I expected I found the palace is ok but nothing stunning but the additional fee to visit the Harem made up for the humdrum main attraction. What a stunning series of rooms, all adorned with the traditional Iznik tiles from the Ottoman era and domed ceilings.
For my final activity I visited a traditional Turkish bath. I picked one off the tourist track that is more used by locals. I did not want to pay the ridiculous charges levied by the bigger hammam's aimed at the tourist market. I had the hammam to myself, well except for my attendant. First it was into the steam room (damn it is hot in there. I could feel my lungs cooking inside my chest) and then sauna for 5 min then 10 min to open up the pores in my skin. From there I was rinsed, foamed, washed, scrubbed and finally massaged. I think I lost a couple of layers of skin during the massage. After it was all done it was back into the steam room then finally into the room temperature pool, which felt like ice after the steam room.
One last trip to the baklavary for you know what. I'm now waiting for my taxi to the airport.
M and MiL will be off on the European cruise in sept, so watch out for further updates to the Wheary Travellers at that time. With any luck the MiL might go MIA in Europe! Only joking, I think!!
See you all soon!