The first two days in Istanbul were packed with sightseeing and walking, so we took our last day a little easier with a cruise, Turkish baths, and dancing. But first, we had one more major place to see: the Hagia Sophia.
Once again, we got to the basilica-turned-mosque-turned-museum first thing in the morning and were treated to a relatively crowd-free experience. The space is overwhelmingly beautiful. Between the archways, domes, chandeliers, ancient mosaics, and labyrinth spaces, I was really impressed. We also took the opportunity to do a 90s style GAP/ CW-show photo shoot here because of course.
Exploring & Lunch
I'll be honest I have no idea what area we were walking around in. I'm thinking it was possibly Kadikoy, but I really can't remember. Anyway, this part reminded me a little of San Francisco with its Victorian style row houses and crazy hills looking out on the Bosphorus (which was curiously filled with jellyfish). It had snowed the night before so everything seemed a little more magical. I also can't remember where we had lunch but it opened up to beautiful views on the water and had some really awesome murals on the outside of the building.
Ferry Ride to the Prince Islands
After lunch, we took about an hour-long ferry ride to one of the Prince Islands off the coast of Istanbul. I wish I could remember which island we went to, but I can't, so take your best guess based on my limited photos. The sunset cruise was beautiful. Unfortunately I can't say the same about where we landed. It's not that it wasn't pretty, because it very may have well been. It's that it was completely dark because the island shuts down in the off-season (a.k.a. winter), so there really wasn't much to see or do. Except get surrounded by feral cats. Lots and lots of cats. Since I can't remember the name of this place I'm calling it Cat Island.
Turkish Baths, Taksim Square, and Dancing
Once back in the city, we treated ourselves to a spa treatment at the Cağaloğlu Hamam. You can't take pictures in there (for obvious reasons), so I don't have any shots of it. But trust me when I say that it was incredible. Following that, all I wanted to do was sleep, but seeing how it was our last night in Istanbul, we had to celebrate. After a brief drink near Taksim Square, we ended up at a random bar with live music, cake, and what seemed to be a spaceship. It was an amazing way to say goodbye to this awesome city.