April 20 and 22, 2023

We sailed into Istanbul on the last day of Ramadan which was followed by Eid al Fitr which is a huge national holiday.

Needless to say a lot of places were closed, including the grand bazaar and the spice market. But the excitement of the people (and the huge number of them) helped to make up for it. 

On top of it all, the blue mosque opened after a 5 year renovation and that attracted pretty much all of the 14+ million people in Istanbul including the Turkish president.

It was crazy town

We managed to get in a tour of the city and a visit to a very beautiful mosque followed by a boat ride down the Bosphorus. After the boat ride we found some lunch and walked through the old town with ALL of Istanbul. It was nuts. 

I would like to go back again someday, there is a lot more to see.

On the way back out to the Aegean Sea we passed by the Anzac and Turkish memorials at Gallipoli. Very sobering to think about how many men died there.

And now we say goodbye to Asia.

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