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I managed to cram in a whirlwind tour of Hagia Sophia, Topkapi and Dolmabache Palaces and the Blue Mosque, along the Cisterns, which were my favorite stop as they are otherworldly and serene. There is much to love about Istanbul from it’s bi-continental footprint spanning Europe and Asia to the dynamic mix of old world and modern. One and a half days as a tourist was not nearly enough however it was a work trip and it’s good to eek out any tourism at all.

We also did the Grand Bazaar which is Khan el Khalili on steroids. We spent hours; serious shoppers could spend days. I got away cheapest of the bunch simply because I was the only person who didn’t come back with a carpet. My excuse is that I’d have to redecorate to feature the carpet and I’m just too lazy.

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