April 15, 2013 Monday
Meeting the tour members at the
lobby of the hotel was like a family reunion.
I had traveled with most of them in 8 - 9 different countries from
Mongolia to Morocco. The only new tour member was the husband of a lady
who too had been on at least six of my tours in Central Asia,
Syria and the Balkans. they all knew that we would start our tour with a
nice meeting to go over the itinerary and be totally prepared for the
adventure that we were going to have for the next 24 days.
Tonight, we chose to go down under of Istanbul and experience a Byzantine atmosphere. Walking down the stairs into the 1500 year old cistern gave every one goose bumps. Only in Istanbul you can travel in time so rapidly. The Byzantine green glaze on the ceramic plates and cups, a huge fire in the fireplace and the music resonating the Byzantine tunes set the ambiance for an excellent dinner.
Since we have a very early departure tomorrow, we were all packed. All we had to do is sleep well and be ready for our flight to Skopje tomorrow!