Hello from us here in İstanbul! We have had a very full first day here in this beautiful and inspiring city...so multicultural and so many-layered with history and influences! Difficult to know where to begin but...here goes. As the second time for me, İ have been struck by how lively the streets are. Our guide ıs quite gracious and informed about current politics...we have peppered her with questions about the elections. At Topkapi Palace we saw a fascinatıng exhibit of Ottoman era textiles...beautiful!...and at Hagia Sophia we saw an exhibıt covering Rumi...absolutely fascinatıng to realize the İslamic influence and history within the museum-church-mosque space that ıs Hagia Sophia. All wonderful!