Day 5 - Istanbul

After a long day of basketball and crime fighting, we all had our first full nights sleep since arriving in Europe. I was first out of bed at around 7.15am and it finally feels like the circadian rhythms are sorting themselves out. 

Today was a rest day in the basketball, so we set out to the Basilica Cistern. We were able to squeeze in a little shopping along the way, with the girls picking up some very nice pashminas and Michelle got a great pair of Ottoman slippers.

We headed down the hill, past the Milion Stone and arrived at the Cistern. Once again, I'll let the pictures do the talking.

We went over to Sultanahmet Square for some lunch in the park and then went for a wander up to the Topkapi Palace. It is gorgeous and we were able to get our first real glimpse of the Asian side of Istanbul. We didn't go into the palace proper today, but will return tomorrow to see it and Ayasofya. The gardens are beautiful and a myriad of other buildings. On our way back to the train, we walked through another park just below the palace walls. G├╝lhane Park used to be the outer gardens of Topkapi, but is now a spectacular public park. We also got to see some fantastic views of my beloved Galata Tower :)

We arrived home around 6, having clocked up almost 8 kms walking, had dinner and were treated to a wonderful couples massage by our creative, special children. They are quite the little role players and are starting to feel more comfortable in the big wide world.