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  Left to right: the Grand Bazaar, Blue Mosque at night, inside the Hagia Sophia


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Left to right: Inside the Blue Mosque, obelisk (with bird) of Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia at dusk  

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 Left to right: Sufi dancers, man cleaning gold-plated window grating at Topkapi Palace, Medusa head column in Basilica Cistern


Our last day in Istanbul and we have clouds, and rain, for the first time. We duck into a coffee shop and watch the storm through tall double-pane windows.


Black clouds and thunder. The steep cobblestone streets are alley-narrow and become slick in the soft rain. Grey water puddles outside the window, splashed by taxi wheels and the sandals of passersby.


Looking out the window at the bread sellers. Blue walls and orange windowpanes of a neighboring building. Strato-cumulus roiling overhead. The hours pass in the coffee joint, a comfortable woodpaneled lounge owned by an expat Albertan, listening to Neil Young, the Tragically Hip, the Beatles. “Oh that magic feeling, nowhere to go.”

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