After about four hours of sleep it's time to wake up to catch the tail end of hotel breakfast hours. We quickly plan the day ahead, which comes down to, get to the mall to get a sweater for Onno (It's 13 degrees Celcius and his jacket is in his checked bag) and then get a taxi/Uber to the city center.
First on the intinerary is the Blue Mosque. It's (completely expected these days) under construction and mostly covered in scaffolding. Both inside and out.
After a 10 minute wait we could enter the Mosque and the parts that weren't covered with scaffolding looked beautiful.
With only a small queue we chose to do the Basilica Cistern next, for 20 Turkish Lire per person (about 3 euro's) we were allowed to enter.
This complex is completely below ground and only parts are lit up, creating this beautiful view.
After a quick lunch (Durum) we headed to the river.
Our plan was to go up the Galata Tower, but first we had to climb the steep hill.
At the tower we noticed that the queue wrapped around the tower and wasn't moving a lot. We guessed that the queue went all the way to the top and decided to not go up.
Instead we decided to make our way back to the river to go to the Grand Bazar.
Lost in the many alleys we ended up at another bridge, which we took back over the river dividing Europe and Asia.
On our way to the Grand Bazaar we encountered other mosques, visible through the many alleyways.
One of the most famous places in Istanbul, it's a maze of covered alleys with tons of little shops. Selling anything from jewellery to real-ish shoes.
When in Turkey, drink turkish coffee.
Our deadline to get back to the hotel was nearing quickly, so we made our way to the main roads to get a Taxi. You can get one in the many alleys, but just getting back to the main road takes a lot of time and money.
When we got back to the hotel we had an hour to freshen up and upload some (these ;)) photo's before the pickup to the airport arrived.
Despite us missing the flight I have to say the whole process after was really smooth and Turkish Airways took really good care by providing the hotels and transfer from/to the airport.
Now we're waiting for our flight to Biskek to board, which should depart at 21:30.
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