Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Istanbul Thrice: Sultana

It's the afternoon of our first full day in Istanbul. Outside the air is hot and dusty, filled with the sounds and smells of merchants and tourists plying their respective trades. The sun can be dazzling, and the traffic is terrifying. We've just left Haggia Sophia and I realize that I basically have no idea what to do next. I'm such a good planner, usually, but somehow on this trip I didn't get much further than booking a hotel and glancing at a map. When we decided to visit something called the Basilica Cistern, I was mostly hoping for a place to sit down. But when we followed the lines down below the ground, we found this:

 It felt suspiciously like stepping back in time as we descended the stairs to this place. The electric lights seemed to flicker like candles, or torches set just above the water line. Something about it seemed at once menacing and alluring. I had spent all that energy waiting for a time-warp thing in Scotland, and now boom, here it was. Only, I didn't order a trip back to Byzantium darlings.

 At least I got to take this guy with me. Doesn't he look good cerca 500 AD?

Also, this is totally the wrong outfit for a spot of time-travelling. Had I known the itinerary involved stepping back several hundred years, I would have worn less sensible shoes.

 Then Medusa showed up and was all "Girl, those shoes are ridiculous. Get yourself some strappy sandals, stat."

And then they made us their king.

Yes, I know. This blog is weak-sauce compared to the Scotland stuff. The thing is, while Istanbul was amazing, it just wasn't very....funny I guess. Also I haven't yet talked about the food, and as we all know, that's where my best writing material generally comes from. Not to worry, we had some seriously good eats later on.

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