In between getting some work done, I decided to spend a little time touring more of the city. We tried the Big Bus tour, a hop on/hop off double decker bus. 

This was the view of the European side of Turkey as we approached the Bosphorus Bridge. The buildings are so colorful, the view reminds me of confetti.

We visited the Beylerbeyi Palace on the Asian side and encountered this sign containing the easiest Turkish words I’ve seen yet.

Built in 1865, the palace sits in the shadow of the bridge and was a summer residence of Ottoman sultans and a guesthouse for foreign heads of state. Daily tours are given of the inside but we didn’t have enough time to take one.

This is a view of the Asian side of Turkey from the bridge.

We stopped in a shop to buy some souvenirs. This wall of herbs, spices and teas smelled amazing. We ate enough samples of Turkish delight to count it as lunch – chocolate, pistachio, pomegranate, honey…yum! I bought some to share with my friends back home (and yes, you, Dad!). Afterwards, we grabbed a coffee at a cafe to cut the sugar a little bit.

After working in the afternoon, I met up with a group of speakers from the conference and had dinner and drinks along this pedestrian street.

We strolled around the city and landed on a cafe. I had this delicious plate of grilled veggies and some cold appetizers (bottom right) with bread. There was a table of Turkish theater and philosophy students sitting behind our table that insisted we switch out our wine for raki, the traditional anise flavored liquor. It was good but we didn’t drink nearly as much as they did.

It was a great evening trading stories and making new friends!

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