Early this morning Shannon headed back to the USA. It has been such a delight having her here - her first trip outside the US other than to Paris 2 years ago with us. As she said upon seeing Istanbul: "This ain't Kansas!" Indeed.
Tomorrow morning Megan heads on on her journey - this leg to Bologna. And Donna and I leave for 2 days to Sanliurfa Turkey - Abraham's birthplace - and Gobekli Tepe - the world's oldest archeological site. I'm glad that Donna is coming: she was afraid because it is so close (30 miles by road) to Syria. But we are repeatedly told it is safe - so off we go.
Today Donna and Megan (and FS) were headed off to do makeup and museums (I prefer the other M&Ms, but the chocolate here is very good) so I headed out to walk and photograph the Golden Horn around outside of Topkapi's walls. Those walls were cut at places for the railroad. At other places, they are in a state of collapse. But they were built by Roman Emperor Constantine in the 4th century so they are very old. I hope Blogger lets you zoom on the panorama - even though it is looking away from the walls - because it shows much of Istanbul from the Sea of Marmaray to the right, left to the Princes Islands, left to Asiatic Istanbul, left to the Bosphoro Bridge, left to European Istanbul.
After a great lunch at a Chinese restaurant and then a to go Baklava (ok, 3) I stopped at a Turkish cafe for... cafe. Americano (thus not chewy).