The weather in Istanbul was pretty awful for the two days we toured the sights: somewhere around 2 to 4 degrees C (35-40 F) with wind and rain. I got pretty good with Celsius temperatures while traveling, but it took longer for me to be able to convert Turkish lira to dollars, which meant I often had little idea at the time how much I was paying for something. I bought two Turkish bath towels, handmade and very lovely, for 35 lira each. When I was able finally to figure it out, I realized they each cost me a little more that $14. They are worth it, but I wouldn't usually pay that much for a towel!
|Inside the mosque|
|Catalina, Elsa, and Karen with our guide Hasan|
There is a large area for Muslims to pray, and we were separated from it by barriers. Most had already left the area by the time we arrived, as we were not allowed to enter until awhile after the Call for Prayer. Muslims pray five or six times a day, and the minarets have loudspeakers that call or remind them. I could hear them easily from my hotel room and found it a soothing sound from a distance, but when I was near the loudspeakers, it was painful to hear. I made a video that I'll post on YouTube one of these days. For now, I'm absorbing all I saw and learned while in Istanbul. More on Saturday. Tomorrow I'm going hiking with my Trailblazer friends and can hardly wait!