Having a day free of lectures or site visits allowed us all to continue to explore and enjoy Istanbul today. I was determined to do my own Treasure Hunt, which most of the students have done by now. Carlene, Geoff, Lila, and Cal joined me. We started at the Sultan Ahmed ("Blue Mosque"); crowds were enormous, so there was little to enjoy inside the gorgeous "blue" mosque. From there, we walked (according to my own Treasure Hunt plan) to Beyazit Medani ("square") and Istanbul University (see the Moorish arch photo). Then to Suleymaniye Mosque - an even more enjoyable experience than Sultan Ahmet, with 1/10th the crowds. From here, we meandered our way through winding streets, old wooden houses, down into the Kucuk Pazar (bazaar). This "popular" (or local) bazaar had virtually no tourists or foreigners in it. It led eventually up to the Egyptian Spice Bazaar. My last stop (solo) was the Yeni Mosque at Eminonu (one of our regular Tram stops). Making my way (via tram) back to our area, I stopped for a new phone as my sim card was no longer working (turned out to be the phone that wasn't working). And leaving my familiar phone store, I found myself in a totally new area - a chic walking mall. It will go on my next 'treasure' hunt.