Stayed at Izmir and Istanbul and back to JFK! (6/8 - 6/12)

Wednesday 6/9. Last night, I checked into Ege University guest hublot replica uk without any problem in Izmir (riding the Havas bus and taxi). My room is 205 again for the last several trips. Yasemin picked me up in the morning and we went to her office. We had Turkish coffee. My first one since in Turkey. I was a tired of Cay by now.

Yasemin and I had lunch with Kaan from Izmir University of Economic at the college lunch facilities and Dr. Saban. After lunch, I went with Kaan to visit the private university. It sits high up the hill the blue Mediterranean sea. Students have wirless laptops and can access Internet any place on campus!

Yasemin and I.

In the evening, Yasemin and I took the metro to downtown (Basme station instead of Konak) and walked around the exhibition square and the famous seawall mile filled with high-rise apartments and donkey rides for tourists!

Aegean/Mediterrean sea and mountains nearby. Nearby, we found a tourist store that sells T-shirts!

My place on the sea wall. Yasemin and I had dinner here.

Thursday 6/10. This is the Ege univserity guest house entrance, more expensive and better maintained since my last trip year and a half ago.

Yasemin and I visited the Ege University College of Arts and Technology (similar setup as Cankiri and Ankara University) in the morning.

Yasemin and I had lunch with Dr. Halil, new department chair of Computer Engineering. Then, we said goodbye. I took a taxi to Izmir airport for Istanbul.

View of the small Izmir airport.

Istanbul. I checked into the Legend hotel, room #105 (I have previously stayed here before). The hotel has a 2-floors roof-top lounges.

View was spectacular from one roof-top lounge.

Another view of the roof-top lounge.

Sea of Marmara is at the distance. I was not able to arrange for a trip to Troy. It is a 2-day trip unlike what it said in the travel brochure.

Friday 6/11. I went to Blue Mosque and St Sophia - a short distance from hotel. A group of Turkish students performed the traditional Anatolia dance on the mall.

Blue Mosque. Free admission.

This is the famous St. Sophia with pink wall. Admission fee was 15M.

Hop on and off double decker tour buses near St. Sophia.

Signs point to Grand Bazaar and Underground Cistern withing walking distance or you can take a tram.

A food vendor - cooked corn.

A newspaper, postcard and other paper stationary vendor. There are such vendors in this area.

Inside the Blue Mosque.

St. Sophia.

I had to ask a German tourist to take this photo as I stood in front of Blue Mosque.

Anti-US posters. Nearby, I found a tourist shop that sold T-shirts!!

Famous Obelisk of Theodosius on the mall.

Legend hotel board game room.

In the afternoon, I went on a half day Bosphorous cruise. I was taken by van to the western end and cruise back to city. I was unable to book trip to Troy since it would take 2 days, instead of an advertised full day tour!

Stopped at a fish market.

Ilyas (our guide). MaryAnn (Boston and worked for Nike) and I were the only two tourists for this GreyLine cruise.

The Bosphorous water way separating Asia (known as Anatolia) from Europe.

Expensive houses along the way.

Restaurents for the tourists near along the Bosphorous with boat dockings.

Buide and MaryAnn.

Rumeli fortress and bridge connecting Europe and Asia at this nearest point.

Regular Ferry going from one shore to the other.

View of Topkapi Palance, St. Sophia and Blue Mosque from boat.

Other ferries near the docks.

Legend hotel from the narrow street. Eczane is Turkish for drug store. A small grocery store is located across the street - very convenience indeed!

Saturday 6/12. I took a taxi from hotel to Ataturk or Istanbul airport and waited for my group who stayed at the President Hotel.

Just one hour before boarding time, I gave up waiting for the gang and checked-in: security, custom and more security. The gate to New York is heavily secured! To my great relieve, I met the group (Rob, Kim and Sherry) at the boarding gate. Kiki had left on 6/10. Tony and Bob left earlier for Athens, Greece. This A340-256 would take us back to New York. Plane left at noon and we arrived in JFK at 3:12pm on a beautiful and cool day! Jet lag was a problem for the next several days.

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