Saturday, February 22nd
Today will be our longest bus ride – six hours worth. Broken up with a nice lunch stop I enjoyed seeing the fresh offerings at the salad bar. The restaurant had an attached grocery store that was interesting to browse through. Eggs were sold by the basket with 30 organic eggs going for 40 TL (about $20 US).
The weather today is noticeably colder and overcast. A warm fire at the restaurant was inviting.
Back in Istanbul
Back in Istanbul once more where our trip began, a small group of us took a 1.5 hour late afternoon cruise on the Bosphorus. By now the skies are gray and the normally colorful area is muted. The cruise boat has a heated, glassed-in interior which kept us comfortable while we watched the shoreline pass by. We were only 10 of us plus our guide with the entire boat to ourselves.
Tim and I had poked our nose in earlier in the trip so decided to walk the perimeter before cutting back through the market while walking back to our hotel (Legacy Ottoman) once again. It was Saturday and the place was crazy crowded. This is not a tourist spot as much as a place where the locals do their own shopping. The sights, sounds, color, crowd and smells were almost too much to handle.
Our final night in Istanbul and time to say our goodbyes. Our group has been diverse with ages from the early 20’s to 81. For the most part very seasoned travelers, that are used to going with the flow, enjoy learning about different cultures, history, and seeing the highlights both natural and man-made. They were more likely to embrace what we have in common and respect what makes each place unique. I am delighted to have made some new friends.
Gratitude Moment: Today I am grateful for our wonderful travel companions. Energetic, enthusiastic, thoughtful, fun, kind, on-time and considerate are all adjectives I would use to describe this group. My thanks to each of you for helping make this trip memorable.