In this global economy times are bleak so empty malls around the world from the United States to Europe are being turned into museums. One such development is the Forum Istanbul, a former shopping mall, now home to Turkey’s first ice museum. What a great way to escape from the current economic crisis! Opened in 2010, the year-round “Magic Ice” museum was created by ice experts aka the Norwegians. At the entrance visitors are asked to wait in a room of zero degrees for at least three minutes in order to prepare for the heat difference. Then everyone is given arctic coats to adjust to the cold temperatures inside the building (5 degrees Celsius to the Turks and about 23 Fahrenheit to Americans). The museum covers 1,400 square meters (again…I’m an American so I don’t know what that means). Visitors in their Eskimo clothes walk through ice tunnels as they learn about the Vikings’ 880 visit to Istanbul, who used the name “Miklagard” to describe the city. A Runic writing, written by a Viking soldier named Halvdan, has been found on the walls of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. Not only did I not know of this Viking/Turkey connection, but who knew walking through ice could be an educational experience? The museum ends with a big boat and house made of ice as well as a map describing the first Vikings’ travels. Before leaving this cool getaway from the Turkish heat, visitors can pick up fruit juice in ice glasses at the ice vitamin bar.