ISTANBUL __ Knowing that we had to wake up at 8:30 a.m. again instead of the lavish time of 9 a.m., I figured Saturday was going to be a long day. We started out by taking the green line to Taksim Square as we usually do but this time instead of walking right we headed left. After a strenuous downhill walk we ended up at Istanbul Modern, the city’s modern museum. Having only been to one previous modern art museum, I was not quite sure what I was about to witness. To my surprise, I was amazed by the complexity of the artwork inside. There was everything from a plane with a clock next to it depicting “time flies” to motion pictures depicting themes I am still unsure about.
After leaving the museum we took the routine lunch break at a generic self-service place along the Bosphorus. While lunch itself was typical, the location of the restaurant was beautiful. As we were eating, we could look out onto Bosphorus at the passing boat traffic. Everything from little boats, to ferries, to huge cargo ships passed us by.
After lunch was finished, we were told that in order to reach our next destination we would have to embark on a mile and a half walk. At first I could tell the group was dreading this walk but halfway, we through it was over when we reached the Ataturk Palace. This Palace was beyond luxurious and seemed to stretch the remainder of the walk. Adjacent to the Palace were pictures of Ataturk, the hero of the republic, teaching the new Turkish language to school children and pictures of him with his daughter. Throughout the walk, Professor Gokhan Celik discussed the history of Ataturk and the new Turkish Republic.
Before we knew it we had arrived at our next destination, the Naval Museum. Personally, I expected more of a modern naval museum, but to my surprise it was mainly a museum of the ships used by the various sultans. These ships were over the top to say the least. Stretching over 150 feet long (in some cases) and coated in gold leaf, the ornate details of these ships left me speechless.
After leaving the museum we had over a two-mile walk back, which was usual, but during the walk, the one thing I found strange was the fact I knew where I was, finally I no longer felt like a tourist.