The Hagia Sophia is quite close to the park. There was a lengthy queue to get in but it moved pretty quickly. Once inside we truly enjoyed this great historic site. You can see that it used to be a church and later had been turned into a mosque. Today, it is a museum and has remains of both periods.
After Hagia Sophia, we went to the Fountain of Sultan Ahmed III in front of the Topkapi Palace. The sultan himself made the calligraphies on the fountain. We then walked over to At Meydani (the Hippodrome) and saw the Egyptian Obelisk of Theodosius, the bronze Serpentine Column and the Column of Constantine.
Time to move on to the Grand Bazaar. We wrote yesterday that Istanbul is a very crowded city. In the Bazaar, it was even more crowded. All the shop owners could tell we were from the Netherlands. I wonder how they can tell our nationality just by looking at us. They probably know by our “Kijken, niet kopen” attitude, meaning “Just looking around, not buying.”
We headed over to the Süleymaniye Mosque, the second largest mosque in Istanbul. The tram stop seemed close but it was a long and tiring walk downhill to the Galata Bridge. There we took the tram back to the ship. We were not alone in port today. At our aft was the Ruby Princess. The Ruby Princess has a webcam on her bridge so we could wave to our parents back home.
Upon sailing away we were treated to “turkish delight.” Again, we enjoyed the scenic sail away and then we changed into our formal wear for the second formal night.
At 8:00 p.m. we went to the show. The singer had a classical voice but also sang a lot of musical songs and modern music. It was quite beautiful. After the show we picked up a DVD and watched it in our room. We actually saw almost half of it, exhausted from our day in the city.