Yesterday we went on a cruise up the Bosphorous and the day before we took a ferry to Asia - well the asian side of Istanbul.
People haggle with you here to buy things almost all the time but it is not that bad, it is actually quite funny!
Its super hot here though, but nothing that I can't deal with really. The airconditioning in this computer place is fantastic.
Our hostel has a roof top bar which overlooks the water and the Blue Mosque. Absolutely stunning, and very laid back. I've been eating a lot of Kebaps and baklava. Food is really good here!
Yesterday I went to the Grand Bazaar with Canadian Dan (the second canadian Dan of the trip) and had fun buying jewelry and backgammon boards for his friends. I also did some jewlery purchasing myself. It is amazing how cheap things can get when you walk away from them..
There a mosques scattered everywhere over this vast city, and along with the call to prayer 5 times a day I know I'm not really in europe anymore. People are very friendly here, even when they are not trying to sell you something (which is most of the time). Great place to visit all in all.
On the 17th we are flying to Izmir, then going to Kusadasi, a beachside town for a night where our hostel has a pool! Can't wait for a swim, that is one thing istanbul is lacking right now. Then we catch a ferry to the greek island of Samos, and then onto Mykonos. We might go to another island around there and then we head to athens on the 24th, I have my job interview on the 25th (you can really see me researching sustainable ecosystems on a greek island now can't you....) and then off to italy on the 26th/27th where we stay with Hyrum in Naples for a few days. Once we leave turkey things are going to get much more expensive than eastern europe and istanbul... I'm sure we'll be right.