I visit the church in Beyoğlu on Saturday morning, enjoying the fellowship and the lunch. I even tried out the organ in the balcony.
Back at the Çırağan Palace, a wedding is taking place out along the Bosphorus while we party at the ABJS banquet. Ed hands the presidency over to Miguel.
On my last full day, I take a whirlwind tour, first to Taksim, then on the Nostalgic Tram. I get tickets to the second evening dervish service. The view from Galata Tower is spectacular, and I decide to come back later after sunset. After stopping by the Dolmabahçe Palace, I travel up the Bosphorus to the Sakıp Sabancı Museum. Feza had suggested this museum because of their calligraphy and miniature drawings collection. Coming back, I also visit the Pera Museum, with their special collection of ancient weights and measures. The whirling dervish ceremony is interesting and meaningful, and I’m glad I was able to fit it into my itinerary. I end my day back at the Galata Tower for sweeping views of the city.
Leaving Istanbul on public transportation is quite an experience. From Taksim, I take the funicular and change to the tramway. Then, it’s a transfer to the metro line which ends at the airport. Leaving at 8:30, I arrive at the airport at 10:05, much longer than I had anticipated. Then, there is high security: entering the airport terminal, passport check before the check-in line, immigration, security, gate passport check.
My last meal in Istanbul is special: menemen and gözleme for brunch. For this meal, I spend my last bit of Turkish cash; it’s a nice way to end this trip.