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First Day in Istanbul

The first day in Istanbul is unusual. The pictures above are two views from the back of the ship, berthed on the Bosporus strait. The first view looks over toward Asia. The second is Europe. This (we were told) is the only city in the world on two continents. Not a big deal, but it feels strange.

The tour today was a boat ride on the strait, and a visit to a sultan's summer home on the Asian side. It was also Ramadan, which is supposed to be fasting during the day. But our guide says that people in Turkey are not so strict. The feeling, at least her opinion, is that people can do what they want and it is between them and God whether it is acceptable or not. I was actually a little surprised on the western clothing for almost all the people. Most of the women did not have head coverings, and we only saw one or two with burkas. The traditional Islamic dress was much more prevalent when we were in France in 2018.

The view above was the summer castle of the sultan. It had an inside, but nothing that would be really interesting to someone who was not there. It was barely interesting to me.

What was more interesting was my shot glass collection. I like to get one from wherever I go. But, I am sure you all know the saying "as rare as a shot glass in Turkey." That's what happens when you are in a country where most of the people do not drink. One guy on our tour even asked (during free time) where he could go to get a beer. The answer was only at the local grocery store, and there it would be warm. So, there was not shot glass from Turkey.

We were dropped off in a neighborhood on the Asian side for about 30 minutes of looking around. We found two synagogues and a film crew making a commercial for Netflix. Glad we went all the way to Istanbul to see that. 

The view below is from the back of our ship that night. The bridge is one of three connecting the European side of Istanbul to the Asian side.

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