Sunday, August 1, 2010

I was clean, and then I wasn't clean

So, I will be providing a few more updates here in these first few days, just because I have a little bit more time. So on, ummmm (caluculating days), Friday afternoon, I wandered around which was fun. You heard about that. Then I crashed a didn't wake up until ten to two pm Saturday afternoon. My British roommates apparently called me the sleeping girl. But they are nice. More on them later. So when I finally hauled my lazy, sweaty self out of bed, I struck off for more wanderings. I crosses a bride (the Ulikipani, as best as I can tell), and headed north along the main coast-following road. I'm not sure exactly what all I saw, but it was pretty and I liked it. There were lots of religious buildings. Hmmm. And of course I picked yesterday to traipse around in my little sundress, and wandered into one of the more conservative parts of town. Whoops. But no one really seemed to mind that much.

Then I came back and had dinner with another roommate, which was interesting. Then I joined up with the Brits and one of their acquaintances and another random Italian guy to go club hopping. I was, of course wide awake, cause I'd woken up late and it still kind of felt like four pm to me, so I was up for it. We had fun, though there was lots of reggae involved, which is not so much my speed. Came back and crashed, then was up (not too early) this morning to make a pilgrimage to a Turkish bath.

For those who followed my travels around the Middle East, you will, of course, have heard my hamam stories from Yemen and Morocco. This hamam, was very nice, but comes in a close second to the hamam in Morocco, and was still light years ahead of the Yemeni hamam. Its exterior was newer, but then there was the traditional raised marble slab under the sky-lighted dome. I felt a little like a sacrificial lamb, being all scrubbed up for the slaughter. But I got over it, and relaxed and it was very lovely. I think it came in second to Morocco, because it was much more crowded, and much more well lit. This took away from the being-reborn sensation that we had in Marrakesh. The scrubbing was also not quite so thorough as Morocco, but I liked the bubble part. :) On the plus side, the marble slab prevented sitting downstream of other people's sloughed-off skin and nastiness and was lovely and warm to lie on. So, as I said, it came in a VERY close second.

Anyways, the second we stepped outside, all clean benefits were immediately gone, and it was back to being sweaty and gritty. We headed over to the Topoki Palace, which was very lovely and had a GREAT view. There was also lots of Byzantine bling on display, which made me question why it wasn't a little better guarded. Then off I went to see the Hagia Sofiya and the Blue Mosque. They were lovely, though I didn't get to go in the Hagia Sofiya because it was closing time. Then I took the tram back to my side of town, wandered to the hostel and had dinner with/taught backgammon to a girl from New Zealand. And now here I am.

Tomorrow's quest is to buy the elusive bus ticket to Sofia, and walk to Asia. I think this is manageable. I got all the pictures off the camera, but they are being really slow to load. (Weak internet connection.) I'll try again tomorrow.

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