The air rose up and stung our bones with a damp chill. We switchbacked down, down, down into the Basilica Cistern on stone ramps to see what remains of Justinian’s savior of Constantinople.

It was originally constructed to protect Constantinople in case of siege so the citizens would still have water to live. Luckily, it was never needed but the underground structure remains today although with less water so the tourists can come have a look around.

The shallow water is home to many obese (no joke!) fish who swarm toward the bridges just begging for something they (don’t need) to eat. The rows and rows of wide stone columns provide an eerie atmosphere as you walk along the bridges in the near dark. Catching a glimpse of the heads of Medusa just before looping back to leave is neat but don’t look into her eyes just incase.

Back above ground, we went back to the Grand Bazaar to pick up the trinkets and things we decided we wanted after yesterday’s browse. We found our way to the Egyptian Spice Bazaar and picked up an assortment of Turkish delight (lemon and strawberry were our favorites) just outside it in the continuation of the market into the city streets. It was cheaper and fresher than that inside the Spice Bazaar and the street markets were fun to wander through even though we didn’t plan to buy any bedcovers, clothes, or kitchen cookwares.

We wrapped up the day eating Turkish Delight (kind of like a flavored hard-ish marshmallow) as we watched the boating passing in the harbor under the warm, cloudless sky!

Originally written for Saben and Lin

posts by Saben and Lin