RoboCup 2011 just concluded, so now our first big non-North American trip begins! Today we are exploring Istanbul!
We left the WOW Istanbul Airport hotel and took the metro and funicular to Taksim Square. We did not hang around the massive square very long, and continued onwards after observing the Republic Monument.
From Taksim Square we walked down Istiklal street and saw many of the bars and restaurants that we had frequented during the RoboCup SPL social party.
After exploring Istikal Street, we wandered over to Galata Tower and opted to climb the stairs to the top of the tower. The tower is really old – it is thought that it was built during the reign of the Byzantian Emperor! In its current form, it serves as a landmark in the city and provides sweeping views over the city.
After enjoying views from all angles at the Galata Tower, we walked to and over the Galata Bridge. It was fun to watch the ships barely fit under the bridge as well as the men fishing from the bridge.
After crossing the Galata Bridge, we headed to the Spice Market. The spice market was crowed, and is certainly a place to be aware of your surrounding and keep close watch on your belongings.
After getting our fill of the spice market and be in intense crowds, we headed towards the Mosque of Suleyman the Magnificent. This mosque is very pretty, and was not crowded at all when we visited. We both wore shirts with sleeves and pants that covered our knees – and Katie brought a light scarf to wrap her head with while in the mosque.
After enjoying the beauty of the Mosque of Suleyman the Magnificent, we walked over to see the ancient aqueduct. It is very interesting to see old world meet new world as a large highway passes under the aqueduct!