Beautifully tiled Blue Mosque and finely proportioned Aya Sofya with it's superb interior - just breathtaking. Cool subterranian Basilica Cistern with Medusa heads at odd angles supporting the original columns.
Monday 7:Topkapi Palace former royal residence with impressive domes, tilework and views over the Bosphoros and Golden Horn. Mostly enslaved white Christian females and black eunnuchs lived their lives within the confines of the palace Harem. Men and even unsliced fruit and vegetables were banned from the Harem complex lest they spoil the Sultan's ladies. It's told how the chosen female would wriggle from the foot of the Sultan's bed up under the covers to approach him from below. One Sultan had a particular appetite for struggling virgins who were encouraged to kick and fight for his added pleasure. Another, the mad one, tied his whole harem in weighted sacks and drowned them in the Bospherous.
The treasures and humour in the Archeological Museum are wonderful. Folowing a fish lunch sandwich I crossed Galata Bridge and took The Tunel funicular railway (21st mode) below Galata Tower to connect with the quaint antique red brass and wood tram (22nd mode) through the modern shopping centre to Taksim Square.
Next day Museum of İslamic Art and the Modern Art gallery, cruised the Bosphoros and Golden Horn in the passanger ferries Polaris and Yeni Menderes (23rd modes) before finishing off the evening in the bars in Akbıyık Sokak, the accommodatiom street, in Sultanahamet. Great city, I stayed two more days than intended and would still return for more. My Istanbul photos should say it all.
Wednesday 9: Poured down with rain as I left Istanbul on the overnight coach for Gallipoli, saw several abandoned cars in underpass flood waters, but the bus got through. Heard two days later that 37 people were killed in the freak floods.