In the afternoon we went first to the spice Bazaar and saw some bizarre spices, and then took a cruise on the Bosphorus for a while. The spice bazaar is part of, or next to the Grand Bazaar, now immortalized in the movie Skyfall for a motorcycle chase across the tiles of the roof of the bazaar, which Ms. Broccoli paid handsomely to repair thereafter. Istanbul is really the end of the spice road, where all those sorts of things finally land to be sold. And if you think you’ve seen spices before, you haven’t seen anything like this. As they say around here ‘spices bring variety to life’ (as opposed to ‘variety is the spice of life’). Of course they sell other things as well such as a zillion kinds of tea.
Cruise boats like that are just elephantine eating yachts, and oh yes occasionally you stop and see a few sights. You waste most of your time on the boat, not seeing the sights. Cruises for a vacation, o.k., cruises for a tour or a pilgrimage— no way. Enough said.
We sailed off to the main Europe/Asia bridge and back, getting see along the shore, the following: 1) lovely houses and restaurants; 2) a mosque; 3) military schools, and universities; 4) palaces; 5) gardens and gazebos, and of course, Istanbul in the distance.
The boat you see in this picture is like the one we were on. The air was cool, the sun was high, the sky was blue, and if you can’t take pictures under these conditions, there is no hope.