We are back from our cruise & we had a wonderful time!  We have many pictures to share of our time exploring many new cities & how we enjoyed life on a boat.  Istanbul is where we started our exploration.  We flew into the city in the evening.  We couldn’t believe the traffic to get from the airport through the city and to the port….over 2 hours!  We boarded the ship, found the restaurant for dinner & then explored the ship before bed.  We had the following day to explore Istanbul. 

A photo of our ship, the Celebrity Constellation at port in Istanbul.


Istanbul was a busy city with crazy drivers, narrow streets, tons of small shops & beautiful mosques.  We first visited the Hagia Sophia, which was first built as a church and then converted to a mosque and then to a museum.

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Not far from the Hagia Sophia was the Mosque of Sultan Ahmed I (The Blue Mosque).  We had to wait for a few minutes at first arrival, as prayers were going on in the mosque.  Once completed, we were allowed to go in.  Women were required to have their heads & legs covered.  Both men & women were required to remove their shoes.

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We had lunch at this restaurant.  You order (or in our case, point) the dishes from the main behind the counter & then sit down.  We had chick peas, hummus, a carrot dip & roasted eggplant…a vegetarian’s delight.


After lunch, we headed to the Grand Bazaar.  I was ready to get shopping but Christian was relieved that we only bought a scarf. 

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We returned to the boat in the late afternoon & had a bit of time to explore more of the boat before dinner. 


Here we are dressed up for our first night at dinner.


Leaving the port at Istanbul & headed for a day at sea.


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