Today was day 2 of super packed Istanbul tourism. First stop was the Hagia Sophia! It is GIANT omg. It would be so cool to be the only person in there. It stopped being a mosque in the 1930s and is now just a museum/place to visit. It’s sooo pretty and there are a lot of Harry Potter lamps and it’s really old. Afterwards we stopped in a really old cistern, which was nice because it was cool (temperature wise) and felt like men in togas should be poking their heads out from behind the pillars.
Then we were hungry so we stopped for lunch at some place called the Pudding Shop, which indeed has pudding, but also solid food. It was apparently a big hippie spot in the 70s which was cool. They had tasty stuffed grape leaves which is all I cared about. And we did try pudding because my mom has an entire ventricle dedicated to rice pudding and it was admirable for food that doesn’t require chewing.
After that nice refuel stop we played with public transportation and went out to the Grand Bazaar. IT IS GINORMOUS I have never seen so many things and walls and people and carpets and tea in one place before. I don’t know exactly how many vendors there are there but it has to be a very high. We walked around there for nearly 2 and a half hours before getting back on the tram and going to the hotel, where I promptly fell asleep for 2 hours. Walking is so tiring. I don’t know if I’m cut out for that kind of activity. We intended on going across the golden horn to the more modern section of Istanbul to walk around and get dinner, but since it was already 7:30 we decided to stay in the neighborhood for dinner. We went to a lovely indian restaurant which was quite exciting because during that nap I had a mini dream about Indian food. Literally a dream come true.
We walked back to the hotel after that tasty endeavor, stopping to watch some whirling dervishes (a religious dance where men wearing big white twirly skirts spin in circles and my mom LOVES it) on the way. Jenny just told me the history of it but I wasn’t listening because I was typing. (hi jenny) but it seems interesting so I suggest Googling it! Despite heavy napping I am sleepy and am off to bed. Being super touristy is hard work.