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Istanbul is a great historical city. It's the most strategic place to put a fortress or to have a battle because the city is in both Asia and Europe! There's a narrow body of water between the two continents, called the Bosphorus, which makes it an incredibly strategic place. This city has been besieged 27 times by multiple countries. I'll give you a little history lesson. This city used to called Constantinople and was the eastern capital of Rome! The city has four parts to it; the Asian half, the European half, and in those two halves, the modern part, and the ancient part. We visited mostly the ancient part of the European half.

First we went to the Blue Mosque. This mosque got its name for the blue tiles used in it's construction. If you enter a mosque, you have to take off your shoes. The next place we went to is called The Topkapi Palace. This palace used to be the home of a sultan. This palace was converted into a museum and is home to the biggest diamond in the Ottoman Empire! The palace had a treasury with some of the biggest gems I've ever seen! They had Emeralds, Diamonds, Sapphires, and Rubies! The only thing I didn't like though, was the huge amount of walking we had to do.

The next place we visited is called Hagia Sofia, another ancient mosque. Nothing much so say here except that it's a big building. That last and most favorite place, is the Grand Bazaar! The Grand Bazaar is an ancient shopping mall. Not that they sell ancient things, but rather modern shops in an ancient building. At this market, they had all sorts of things such as knives, swords, rugs, perfume bottles, and lots of other things that I can't name. It was a big market I tell you. It had more than a hundred stalls! While at the Grand Bazaar, I had to bargain with a shopkeeper to get the price of a mini dagger down from 15 euros to 12 euros. I bought that mini dagger to add to my collection, but the ship's security wouldn't let me bring it onto the ship so they took it until I exit the ship on the last day.

The last place that I want to tell you about is a Carpet making and selling co-op. We saw this lady weaving a carpet and is was amazing! She wove thing string and then cut it. This guy tried to sell mom a rig that she liked for $4400!!! Mom said no though.