Day 7 - Istanbul

Today, we finally tackled the Grand Bazaar, and after all the waiting, I must admit it was disappointing. The architecture and oldest parts of the Bazaar were great, but the shops were not fantastic. Some great jewellery stores and shops with ceramics and lamps, but a lot of clothing stores that are like Queen Victoria markets in Melbourne.

Once you get out the back of the Bazaar, that's where the bargains really begin. Che picked up a Lionel Messi Barcelona playing top for 10 lira ($5) and I picked up a Galatasaray top for 20 lira ($10). We also found a great little store that sold art and old drawings and Michelle and I bought a beautiful detailed colour artwork of the Golden Horn with Ayasofya and the Blue Mosque in the background. Hopefully, we will get it home in one piece.

We then went to visit the Süleymaniye Mosque, built by Suleiman the Magnificent. Another active mosque, we arrived just as the call to prayer had begun, which meant that we could not go inside until prayers had finished. Still, an impressive and beautiful piece of architecture.

Next, we made our way back to Galata Tower to get some of the best views of Istanbul available. Once up the top, you get an appreciation of just how densely populated and insanely large this city is. Over the Bosphorus, the Asian side of the city sprawls into the distance. It's quite overwhelming. But you also get wonderful views of the Old City and it's famous mosques and palaces.