The view from my hotel room. If you look closely, you can see hundreds of white dots all over the roofs -- those are satellite dishes, about a dozen to a building.
Many stores selling exclusively nuts and dried fruits.
We got pretty heavy snowfall our first few days, which the locals claimed was unusual. Sam has decided to nickname me SnowBringer since it seems like I cause blizzards everywhere I go.
An honest representation of what I spent most of my time doing. This is my project team, hard at work trying to figure out how to use solar energy to power home appliances. Couldn't have survived it without you guys...
Me in front of the Blue Mosque.
More Blue Mosque
Inside the Blue Mosque. Photos don't do it justice. The entire interior is covered in thousands of ceramic tiles, and the ceiling is a rising cascade of domes.
The Hagia Sofia (Ayasofya to the Turks)
After seeing the major sights on Saturday, we took a boat cruise on the Bosphorus. Despite the cold (the rain stopped about five minutes after we finished our walking tour...), it was a great way to see the city.
The Dolmabahce Palace from the water.
The bridge spanning the Bosphorus, looking at the Asian side.
My team up on deck.
What I ate for dinner basically every night. Dangerous amounts of baklava not pictured.
A wall of Turkish Delight in the Spice Market. A word of advice: if you ever find yourself wandering around the Spice Market in Istanbul, tell the vendors that you're looking for the best Turkish Delight in the city. Each one will give you copious samples. Before you know it you'll be stuffed to the gills (and covered in powdered sugar) and won't need to buy any.
But my favorite thing about Istanbul is that there are stray cats everywhere. Everywhere. You may think that I'm being facetious about this being my favorite thing given that I'm not exactly known for my love of cats, but actually it was wonderful because every time I saw one I thought of Sam and it made me smile. Awww. I tried to take photos of as many as possible, thus earning myself a reputation with my team as a bit of a crazy. Here's a sampling.
(Snapped after we used a sandwich to coax out a cat that had run into a drugstore. Unfortunately the cat quickly ran back inside the moment we brought it back onto the street.)