Once again I arrived in a new country with sore throat. Since I was really tired I decided to sleep the whole morning. In the afternoon I left the hostel to see the city. My lunch costed 7 millions, I realized it would be difficult to get used with the amount of zeros on the Turkish lira bills. The waiter told me to be careful in order to not be cheated. He said it is common to trick tourists that aren’t used with the money. I asked if I should be careful with him. He answered: “NO, not me. I’m talking about the others. I’m honest”.

I visited the Aya Sofia, a church constructed in 532 and during years it was the biggest in the world. There were times that its mosaics were covered because the Islamism prohibited the images. Today it works as a museum. The place is impressive…

After I went to see the Blue Mosque, a mosque constructed in the beginning of the seventeenth century. Its towers and domes made it the most famous one in Istanbul. The tourists enter through the side door. They give us plastic bag to put our shoes inside. I sat down and spent some time observing people. The place was quiet, perfect to meditate a little.

The following day I visited the Topkapi Palace. I spend about 4 hours there and I haven’t seen the whole thing. There I visited a former harem, but there was no concubines to see. The idea of being in a place where some time ago a sultan would “keep” his women it was a little frightening.

After the palace I did a boat tour in the Bophorus river. It is the best way to see the city by its margins. There I could see the Istanbul’s contradictions: a city between east and west, modern and antic, poor and rich. It was worth it…

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