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The final day of the first leg of the cruise.

Most everybody is getting off here. Just ten of the twelve staying on board on the excursion today. I have met a few of them but only know Angela & John by name..

So it's goodbye to quite a lot of people I have been chatting with over the last two weeks. . As per usual, not everyone was so nice with a sprinkling of toffee noses, but on the whole, not a bad bunch.

Free booze at dinner helped greece the conversations no doubt.

Those passengers who got off today & had hotels arranged by V2A had four excursions on offer & I am a bit disappointed in that I only had a choice of one. A morning tour of The Blue Mosque & Hagia Sophia.

In the event, that was quite enough for me. I need much more time that just eight hours here.

Setting off ... Jenny helping the departing guests off the ship ... Note the Orchestra in the background - it will come in handy on the trivia night later on.


Had to wait here for people who had not got their landing card from reception. A bit of miscommunication with V2A. Every other day we had been given a Turkey landing card but today we had to go to reception to get it.

Then another wait on the bus for a couple who did not show up.

I think this was maybe the only delay the entire cruise so far. I knew it could not last

Anyway - we are off now.

Turn left out of the port and head for the bridge to what I expected to be Europe but no - not true.


A stop for photos ....



and we are into the line for the Blue Mosque. Another little delay while some unprepared people cover their shoulders and legs & the ladies their hair.


A few too many people inside already. Pity we did not get here a bit earlier.

Angela is a little mad because our guide has changed the scheduled order to avoid even longer lines. She wanted Hagia Sophia first so they could skip the Mosque which they had already seen.


The central carpet area is roped off, hence the absence of people.



The guide was droning on but I had taken my headphones off. I just had to keep my eye on him in case he moved off. Some people did not do that & another wait while we searched for them.

They did not turn up, so we left he Mosque - & found them waiting OUTSIDE ..

An Istanbul fashionista ..


Across the park towards Hagia Sophia now ,,,,,

Lots of posers as usual ...



A chance for a sit down while the guide waffled on .. Not much to look at here ... Ho Hum ...



A long line for the Hagia Sophia but the guide had tickets already so our line was shorter. About twenty minutes to get in. Could take hours.

Inside now ...



This is a sundial on the wall outside ...


Across the park again ,,,, more fashonistas ...


& onto the bus ... and another wait. This group is so incredibly slow.

Been way too much standing around on this tour

People wise, it was the worse tour.

Hope it is not a sign of things to come - I have another two weeks of this.

More Graffiti in Istanbul than elsewhere in Turkey. Hope it does not spread.


Back to the ship for a nap ..

So what to do with the afternoon.? I had hoped to see Topkapi & the underground cistern but the walk from the boat to the Bridge was too far for me and could not face the line ups.


Off the ship, I turn right instead of left ...

A very nice walk along the waterside.

Lots of tourist, Turkish tourists.

A cup of Aryan at one spot, a Burger at another & a rice pudding somewhere else ..


And back to the ship for a very nice surprise - I have been UPGRADED. A change to a cabin with a WINDOW! ... I wonder why.


Here is Carol, one of only 150 people this segment. 300 and some last segment.


Lorraine & Irish ... at their bar above the Lido ... Looks like I have their company for another two weeks. A tough job, but if someone has to do it, it might as well be me.


The sun goes down on Istanbul & the fishermen pull in their nets .. we set sail into the Black Sea for a bit of a rest from constant touring. one whole day at sea before getting to out next port - Trabzon, a long way away but still Turkey

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Posted by hasbeen 02:49 Archived in Turkey

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