Istanbul day 3

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We got an extremely late start today. Check out was at 11am and the owner of the Hostel was knocking at 11:05 for us to get going. So we left our bags and headed out into the beautiful day!

Our first stop was for some Döner Kababs and fresh squeezed juice. Sierra had pomegranate and I had apple/orange. We then walked up the road where Sierra wanted street muscles. So we stopped for her to eat two. I was still stuffed from my sandwich.

Then we started to walk down a side street. Where we found a very busy narghile cafe. The smoke was killing me so we sat outside. We had some tea and tried melon flavored hookah. It was strange because you don’t inhale and your smoking warmed dried fruit. But when in Rome! We met some men from North Africa who were waiting on their wives who were shopping. They were super nice and gave me their number if we ever want to visit their country. It was like they worked for the tourism board.

We then went for a very long walk down hill. At the bottom of the hill were these really fancy restaurants. Next to them was a huge line and masses of people around the outside of a building surrounded with bob wire. At first I thought it was an embassy and they were refugees or some kind of free aid. As we got closer we realized it was the jail and the people were there to visit. They were at the windows yelling down to their loved ones who were yelling back up to them. It was all very strange so we turned around and went back up the giant hill.

Along the way we stopped for 1.50 lira pomegranate juice! Everywhere else in town it is 5 lira. What a steel and it tasted fabulous to us during our uphill climb.

We then went to a traditional Turkish Bath. They gave us a changing room and a cloth to wrap around us. We then were ask to have a rest in the sauna. From there we were placed on a hot marble slab where these women scrub us down (with mittens we just purchased). Then they gave us a sudsy soap massage. Afterwards they rinsed us off and washed our hair. We were then shown to the freezing cold pool. No, thank you! Sierra jumped in but I was ok. Afterwards they give us fluffy towels to dry off with and you can hang out as long as you like. If we didn’t have a flight to catch we would have tried the honey massage. We met three college girls from the US who were studying in France for the year. They had the honey massage but said the soap one was better. So I’m glad we didn’t spend the extra money.

On the way back to grab our bags we stopped for more muscles. 24 to be exact! We met a nice couple from Colorado. They had just arrived and she was almost in tears. She was so afraid that something would happen to them and they would leave their poor children at home orphans. It was heart breaking. They looked Turkish or Spanish so I told them to just stick with the locals. He seemed more adventurous than her.

We took the tram to the metro to the airport. Where I then sold my transit card to a young Chinese man and gave him my map. I explained how everything worked and wished him well.

Then onto our flight we went. 8 kilos over our allowance. I just threw on all my clothes and put my toiletries into a Starbucks bag. Down 10 kilos!!! Onto Ephesus we go!!!

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