We bid farewell to the Kum Hotel and jumped on our bus for a return trip to Istanbul. It was sad to leave behind our wonderful hotel as we had become quite attached to its simple charm and wonderful staff. Its such a great place to stay, with the beach on the doorstep and a sense of isolation – but so close to the Anzac area.
Back in Istanbul by mid-afternoon, we had a few hours to fill in, so it was off to the Grand Bazaar. We divided into various raiding parties and practiced our haggling skills. The bazaar is huge, complex and confusing. Just when you think you have an idea of where you are going, you turn up where you started. The fact there are so many shops selling the same thing doesn’t help. But some great purchases were made and it only wet our appetite for more shopping time on our last afternoon here.
We had our meal in the hotel and it was live music night. There was older Turkish gent with grey Elzis hairdo performing a range of hits (all of which Carol knew the words to) who got us up dancing at one point. We jumped on the keyboard and did our version of Istanbul not Constantinople – much to the delight of other dinner guests I’m sure. Then later a group of four young Turkish men came in and performed fold dances for us – and of course dragged many of our group up for a rousing clapping and hilarious attempt to copy them.
At the very end of the night a group of students went off for a walk to the Blue Mosque (beautiful at night) and the are around there. Hoping to find some belly dancing but no success. Maybe tonight.