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!