Good evening to all of you back home that have been following my blog during my time in central Asia. My entry tonight will be a short one. It is 11:00 pm as I sit to type about today's happennings. I have to be up in 3 hours to get ready for the long trip back home. We have to leave for the airport at 3:00 am to make a 5:50 am flight. I still have to pack, shower, shave, etc before I sleep for a few hours. So let me apologize in advance for the bags under my eyes and the repeated yawning that you'll notice when I see most of you on Sunday.
We had a good day of sightseeing, buying souvenirs, and saying goodbyes during our final day in Istanbul. We began the day in the Grand Bazaar where you can see and purchase most any kind of knick-knack, article of clothing, or souvenir you can imagine. Next, we went to the Chora Church which is located in a more remote part of the city. It is much smaller that the Hagia Sophia, but has much more of the mosaic tile work still intact. It was quite beautiful. Next, we toured a UPS facility with Chuck's new found friends, where we had coffee and water as we visited for about an hour and a half. Our hosts were once again extremely gracious and for the second day in a row shuttled us around by private car (it was much more comfortable than the bus or subway) as we toured the city. After visiting the UPS office, our driver took us to the premier bakery in all of Istanbul so that we might stock up on the best baklava in all of Turkey. Those of you that get to sample this tasty pastry won't be disappointed. Finally, we had dinner with our host and some of their friends before returning home for the evening. It was a full and satisfying day. We even had a few opportunities to give out gifts as we saw the sights.
Since time is short, I will not post pictures tonight. I'll make one final update to the blog upon my return home. Until we come home, peace be with you and goodnight.