Our first day full day in Istanbul was perfect. From the moment we got out of the car and on the 1/2 block walk to our apartment, saw Turks, Greeks, Kazakhs, Afghans, and Turkmen, we knew we would love it here!
Due to jet lag, we got to experience the morning call to prayer. Oddly, the call to prayer makes me feel at home here.
Jonathan and Eric spent the day doing coffee tastings for Coffee Haus, and Allison and I hung out home and while I unpacked. We met up with the guys at Sultanahmet (one of the big tourist destinations) to meet an acquaintance of Jonathan's who is vacationing in Istanbul.
Allison and I took the train to meet them. I LOVE public transportation, so that was fun already, but parts of the tracks lead us right next to the water, so it's beautiful as well.
Here's the Aya Sofia behind us--church turned mosque turned museum.
Last time we were here, the street vendors were selling roasted chestnuts. This time, it was grilled corn.
We ate on the roof of a restaurant that overlooked the city.
Here's my vegetarian sandwich I ordered.
Apparently, at some point during our meal, the building we were in had a small fire and tons of fire trucks came and everyone stood around and watched what was happening. Our server didn't seem alarmed, though we were 4 floors up and the only way down was a narrow windy staircase. So, we just enjoyed our meal. Eventually the fire trucks left and everything went back to normal again.
After dinner we walked around the city a bit.
Around 10, we headed home. The station we caught the train in is the same station that was constructed for the Orient Express. Apparently, long, long ago, Istanbul was considered the Orient.
As Jonathan and I walked through the city together, we just drank in all the sights and sounds, loving every second. Oddly, I already feel more comfortable and at home in Istanbul than I ever felt in Atlanta. Jonathan's response to Istanbul in relation to Cairo was, "Take Cairo and then remove everything that's bad about it, and you have Istanbul." We couldn't ask for anything better!
This coming week we'll be devoted to 35 pages and 50 tasks of pre-course work for CELTA. It looks like e'll have to save the rest of our adventures for September.