Monday, September 15, 2008

Greetings from Turkey

Hi everyone! Greetings from Istanbul, Turkey. See if you can find it on the map. Kristin says it is the third largest city in Turkey.

It took a REALLY long time to get here. Two long airplane flights and a layover in London. I am SO tired and Kristin is tired too! Here is a look at her hotel room. It's is small and very "girly" (there are flowers painted on the woodwork). Kristin calls it "quaint." I'm not sure I really know what that means but at this point I am so tired, I'm not sure I care.

We arrived at the airport around 4:05pm on Monday afternoon. Everyone's luggage arrived with the plane. Whew! As soon as everyone in Kristin's group had gathered, we took a bus to our hotel. Here are some photos Kristin took from the bus window. The first one shows the flag of Turkey combined with the flag for a Turkish airline.

Here the flag of Turkey is flying along with several other important flags. Can you guess which ones? (Hint....the European Union, the United States, South Korea, China and Japan.)I learned from reading Kristin's guide book that Istanbul is a very old city that has lots of interesting buildings. Our guide called this building a "castle." I told Kristin it reminds me of the fort I saw in Prizren, Kosovo this summer. Kristin said it should. That's because rulers from Turkey used to control Prizren many, many, many years ago during something called the "Ottoman Empire." Maybe Kristin told me that in Kosovo...but if she did, I forgot.

Here's a street sign that proves I really am in Istanbul. :)

Kristin says most of the people who live in Turkey are Muslim. That's why there are so many mosques here. I had no idea. The mosque minarets (or towers as I call them) are really neat.

Halfway to our hotel I started to notice what looked like an ocean FULL of boats and HUGE ships! Kristin says Istanbul is located along something called the "Bosporus Straight."

Kristin says this is a very important body of water. That's because half of Istanbul is on the European Continent and the other half is on the Asian Continent. The Bosporus divides the two continents. Kristin says that's why Turkey is known as the country that bridges Europe and Asia. WOW! I had no idea?

I even saw a fish market from the bus....although I am not sure I would want to eat those fish.

We are staying at the Armada Hotel. After Kristin checked into her room, she took a walk around the hotel's neighborhood. Here are some photos she took during her walk.

I should tell you that Kristin found Pop-Kek's (the yummy ding-dong like cakes I had in Kosovo) and Coke Light at a little store near the hotel. She was VERY happy when she found both in the same small store!
That's all for now. I am very tired and need to head to bed. Don't forget to click on the links Kristin includes in the posts. They will give you even more information than we can about the things we are seeing. And check out the twitter feeds. Kristin's phone is working here so I should be able to keep you updated via twitter even if I don't have computer time for uploading photos.
Until next time....bye!