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Arrival in Istanbul

Old Stamboul
June 20, 2015

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We boarded our wide-body and jet and flew to the other side of the world, back in time hundreds of years, to the 1960s when James Bond skulked around the mosques in From Russia With Love, to 1453 when Mehmet breached the walls and flooded the old Christian capital with Islamic warriors, to the 6th century A.D., when Justinian built one of the greatest buildings of all time.

For our efforts, we were rewarded with a brilliant, sunny late afternoon that lit up Hagia Sophia's pink walls and seemed to sharpe everything on the plaza, the minarets, the palm trees, the fountains and the domes.

When the sun finally set, we wandered down the hill to our tourist street and settled in on the cushions of a tourist cafe, enjoying hearty Turkish fare and topped off with warm apple tea ... and Emmy's first cocktail. (Which looked very fun, but which she hated.)