After getting knocked out of whack by the bus trip, today was fairly light on sightseeing. Before Ivanka caught her flight back to Crimea, where she is working on a CIDA-sponsored project to better integrate children with disabilities into the education system, we spent most of our time buying gifts for family members. I originally planned to pick up a couple for people in Oxford, but I have always found shopping exhausting. It is especially bad when you are being constantly lied to about prices, manufacturing methods (everything is ‘handmade’), and the materials from which products are made (that ‘pearl finish’ is clearly a plastic sticker).
One interesting thing we did see, in the evening, is the 80,000 cubic metre cistern built by Emperor Constantine underneath the Hipodrome and the site of the Hagia Sophia. While the site includes no educational information at all, it is pleasantly creepy.
Tomorrow, we are to visit some museums, see the harem in the palace, and walk a portion of the city walls.
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