April 1-2: Aya Sophia, Grand Bazaar, Dolmabahce Palace, Kizkulesi, and return to USA

Sunrise on our final full day in Turkey.

Back to the Golden Horn area.

First stop Aya Sofia. With the threat of diseases like avian flu being carried by birds in their migratory patterns through the area, Atilla explains that to be cautious we should all wear masks. After walking past a few hundred other tourists with bizarre looks on their faces, he decides to explain that it happens to be April 1st!

The upper level inside Aya Sofia.

The gold in the murals is amazing.

Ornate columns.

Too much to take it all in.

The corridor between levels.

Looking straight up at the ceiling. The scaffolding is there for restoration work.

David makes a wish, while Kathy shoots a photo.

Not your everyday gazebo.

Arrival at the Grand Bazaar and entry into the labyrinth.

The Obelisk of Rameses.

Driving along the walls of Topkapi.

Just like home.

Dolmabahce Palace.

A secret spot for Ataturk's alcohol.

A balloon flies above Kizkulesi.

The Russian Embassy outside our hotel window.

The hotel where Agatha Christie wrote "Murder on the Orient Express."

Arrival for our farewell dinner at Kizkulsei.

Atilla hams it up.

Atilla and his fiance' Tugba.

Music and song to cap a perfect evening.

A beautiful dessert.

Our first view of the Moon after the eclipse.

Topkapi Palace.

Dolmabahce Palace.

The Bosporus Bridge.

06:55 am Turkish Daylight Time, April 2, 2006, the Sun rises in Istanbul.

Arrival at Ataturk International Airport

Our flight home.

More than 22 hours after sunrise in Istanbul, the Sun finally sets over the American Midwest.

Approaching Los Angeles International Airport. The incredible journey draws to a close.