To be truthful, woke up at 9, then at 11, from 1-3 and then at 5am when the Muezzin directly across the street began the Call to Prayer. Sweet!
Pretty long and exhausting trip here - but a great tour guide, a nice hotel and a good neighborhood for just strolling around made yesterday afternoon's arrival a nice entry.
Friday night in a city of 15+ million is pretty exciting and bustling, no matter what continent you are on - but if you are where Orient touches Occident within the same city, then expect some interest, excitement and fun.
However, after a meal, a walkabout and a trip through Steam, Dry Sauna and the Hammam (traditional Turkish bath), we were beat and ready to sleep; and if you've ever traveled more than 6 time zones (9 here), you'll know that you can't sleep when you want to but always want to catch a nap, right when the goo stuff is happening!
Not sure why, I just didn't travel well this time - delays, feeling queasy, a long flight with not much sleep, and just general bother left me feeling a little out of sorts. Not atypical, but a drag.... however, this morning I woke up and realized I was in frikkin' Constantinople, on the Golden Horn and about to see Hagia Sofia, The Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace all today!!
So, not much time to write, about to head out for cultural night of regional folk and belly dancing. Tomorrow, we're off to Anatolya - internet connections are rare or cost, and our time is jammed. So, I'm not posting much. If you want to follow visually, I'm adding to a FB Photo Album as often as I can, so check that out!
First completely new and interesting fact I learned thus far - Tulips (Lale in Turkish; the neighborhood we are in is Laleli - or the Tulip Garden) came to Holland from Turkey, and we're misnamed after a style of turban - Tulp - rather than the flowers, when there was some confusion on what was being asked!
Gule Gule!! - gotta go, Dervishes and Bellies await! Give thanks and praise!