Breakfast was included at all of the hotels on the tour and was, more or less, the same at all of them. The breakfasts were all buffet style with eggs, meat, cheese, olives, and bread. Yes, I wrote ‘olives for breakfast’. Although I ate olives every day when I lived in Spain, I never had them for breakfast. I was in heaven! After breakfast, Huseyin loaded us on our bus and we headed for Istanbul’s Old City, also known as Sultanahmet.
History comes in layers in Turkey and Istanbul was the capital city for both the Byzantine (Christian) and later, the Ottoman (Muslim) Empires. When I was a little girl, my father used to sing, “Istanbul was Constantinople… “. I was amused by the strange sounding words but knew nothing of the history behind the phrase.
The tour of the Old City covers most of Istanbul’s ‘must see’ sights but even with the help of a very knowledgeable guide to answer all of my questions (and I ask a lot of questions), one day to see the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia, the Hippodrome, Topkapi Palace , and the Underground Cistern, is really just an overview. I was looking forward to my day in Istanbul at the end of the tour.