Yesterday, in summary

I wimageoke up this morning and initially could not recall all the elements of our day yesterday–jet lag continues to impact our sleep, but I think we are closer to being on Istanbul time. I know we covered a number of miles wandering around this city over the course of 14 hours, but the specifics of our activities were vague until I looked at the pictures I took. They quickly reminded me that we saw and did LOTS of things.
Highlights of the day included seeing the Basilica Cistern, wandering through the Grand Bazaar, and enjoying some amazing street food (oh my god, the food here is just so, so good!). We also experienced getting caught by a very charming carpet seller who doubled as a tour guide as a way to get us to visit his shop, and was then quite irritated when we did not buy anything. And then there were the hundreds…thousands…millions(?) of cats that exist throughout the city. These creatures exist everywhere–lounging in the sun, playing in groups, darting across streets and roofs. Watching them has become a way for me to take a moment of calm when I feel overwhelmed by all the hustle and bustle of the city.
Today we plan to take a harbor tour of the Golden Horn, and may also go to a Turkish Hammam. And we might also go to the Aya Sofya and the Blue Mosque and, and, and…our desire to explore everything sometimes makes it hard to just allow time and experience to intersect spontaneously, but we are working on having this attitude towards our trip. In the meantime, I will continue to turn towards the cats to remind me of how to simply ‘be’ in Istanbul.

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