We returned to Istanbul on Hayden’s birthday, so after picking up my repaired computer (and my right arm), we set off for a celebratory lunch. For you Melbournites, it appears that John Faine of ABC radio fame had written a report about a restaurant on the Asian side of town called Ciya Sofrasi, that is also included in many guide books. The restaurant was good – tasty food, and it had expanded to two other sites. Its popularity was evident as the restaurants nearby struggled to fill their seats.
We also visited the Hagia Sofia museum – originally built as a Byzantine church in the 4th century, converted to a mosque 1,000 years later and more recently, under Ataturk’s direction, a museum displaying a strange mixture of Christian and Islamic architecture. The archaeologists struggle with displaying the more recent Islamic art or removing it to display the original Byzantine art. A special exhibition of Arabic sript was fascinating.
Our last bit of sightseeing in Istanbul was a boat trip down the Bosphorus to the Black Sea and lunch at Kavagi, yet another Roman fortification in the strategically important link between the Mediterranean and the Back Sea.
We met Gerry & Emilie one last time, before they returned to Melbourne. It has been interesting to compare our travel notes, as our independent travel agencies had put us on similar itineraries.