“Istanbul Not Constantinople”

Ok…now that THAT’S out of the way (Earworm alert!)…let’s get on with the show!

We arrived tired, but excited to meet our tour guide, the illustrious and much mentioned Orhan, whom we found with little problem. “It was my nose wasn’t it?”, He teased. More on him later…

We got on the “pink magic bus” for the first of many times and headed to our fabulous home for the next 4 days, the Park Bosphorus Hotel. This place was dazzling folks. Here’s some dazzled teachers to give you an idea of how dazzling it all was.IMG_3397

After meeting with Güler, Meltem and our Turkish teacher colleagues, Yasemin and Engin, it was time for a much needed sleep!  But NOOO…not before a wonderful terrace social gathering and a bit a of wine and our first taste of Turkish mezze.Park Bosphorus Terrace 1

Our first day of touring Istanbul was a whirlwind! We made our way across the Golden Horn to the Fatih neighborhood, where ancient wonders awaited, as we saw the ruins of a hippodrome, an Egyptian obelisk and a gorgeous ablution fountain photo 5

Fountain at Hagia Sophia courtyard.

Fountain at Hagia Sophia courtyard.

before heading into this ancient beauty, Hagia Sophiawhose secrets we investigated at length, despite, as Orhan said, being “Under repair, as much of Turkey!” I don’t think I was the only one with tears in my eyes as this church, mosque, museum of Holy Wisdom came into view.

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