Friday, August 01, 2008

I love Istanbul!

Another of the reasons I just love my company. After Malaysia and Thailand, our 'conference' this year was in Turkey! Despite the gruelling journey and a packed schedule, we managed to explore quite a bit of Istanbul.. I especially loved the whirling dervishes.. The guys, of course, were floored by the belly dancers and I couldn't get a decent snap because of the crowd next to the dance floor ;)
The cruise down the Bosphorus was incredibly appealing especially since it came after a rainy morning.. The two different sides to Istanbul (Asia on one side and Europe on the other) also made for a lovely contrasting effect. This picture, while of a modern day ship, got everyone talking about Pirates of the Carribean!

We got to see Aya Sofia square but could only explore Hagia Sophia in detail (complete with proper guide!). For the Blue Mosque, we snuck off from the main group to take some pictures and had to be content with viewing the other monuments en route only. I would have loved to spend a whole day walking through Sultanahmet..

Despite being rushed for time, us girls managed to shop in Grand Bazaar, which seemed like a magical Palika bazaar - complete with grumpy shopkeepers and flirtatious salesmen! I was entranced by this lamp shop and I wish I could set up a similar room in my home as well.

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