A Travellerspoint blog

Istanbul

We arrived somewhat jetlagged after a long wait in Dubai, and navigated the queues of Ataturk Airport, to find a welcome sign and shuttle into the city. Now that was an experience! It was heavy Friday afternoon traffic past tower blocks of apartments, and then parks along the water's edge.Families were sitting around small bbq plates as the evening cooled. Suddenly the bus dived down into the old city and swooped into small winding alleys. The driver needed to back up once or twice, surge up a laneway then jolt to halt to leave another passenger. It was high entertainment.
Our small hotel is in the old city very close to all the big attractions -the Blue Mosque was visible from our bedroom window! We walked huge distances every day, gawping and getting lost - this is often the best part of the day as we wandered down interesting laneways. The houses are narrow and steep, with cobblestone streets.
When our energy flagged, we sat on the rooftop terrace,gulping cold water, gazing over the Sea of Marmara. Magic!
D is in his element- "urban decay" is an understatement. What can you say to describe a city which has been lived in for so many centuries. There were Byzantine city walls down the road, Ottoman houses in the next street, a mosque close by, hotels, empty houses awaiting a new life and modern city life going on as well.
Enjoyed some good conversations, did not!! buy a carpet or anything else despite wandering the Grand Bazaar, the Spice Market and the many tiny streets of specialists around it.
Have the name of 2 current Turkish musicians and plan to find their CDs when we return next week- that was from Seda who is a student teacher of IT- we exchanged information on paper napkins over a meal.
Wonderful challenging city!

Posted by woylie 09:08 Comments (0)

Travelling the interior

We left our hotel and walked down to the corner. Ahead was a stunningly white mosque with elaborate little towers and domes. We moved on towards the ciy centre, past small shops stocking Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian foods and utensils. I ducked into the Indian specialist and came out dazed by the layered smells. We decided to stop for coffee and baklava sitting outside, browsing the papers and checking out the stylish pedestrians. The music was a bit much- like a compilation of bland Greek and Italian muzak.Coffee was good tho.
OK, we haven't left yet - this was last weekend in Northbridge, Perth! During three days, we had Indian and Chinese food, Vietnamese steamboat, Australian shiraz, almond croissants (??) with Ben's excellent coffee and Subway. Roll on, Turkey! I could be rolling too...
And caught up with a special friend, Di, after too many years. The conversation ranged over time and distances - physical,perspective and experience.
Then to Dave's exhibition, with more time spent with people who look with different eyes at their worlds.

A good way to start our travels with eyes and hearts open.

Posted by woylie 04:48 Comments (0)

First day of holidays

semi-overcast

woylie.jpg

Feeling strangely guilty about not having to go to work tomorrow, but I will try hard to manage :) Beginning to see the end in sight as departure date comes closer. Lots of things still to arrange, so doing what I do best - write a list!!

Posted by woylie 05:53 Comments (0)

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