Published: June 28th 2011June 19th 2011
The next day Marcus and I took it easy and had a nice breakfast where I told Marcus stories of when Dad and I were there, and Marcus got to know Lynn and Ayse a little better. It was just like old times only with a new person! Lynn couldn’t stop talking about how much fun Dad looked like he was having, and I concurred that I didn’t think I had seen Dad that happy and relaxed in a long time. I remember when Dad was here how we would tease each other mercilessly back and forth and then we would get on Skype to talk to Mom and she would get tired of hearing us poke fun at each other, but we were having a blast.
After breakfast (Marcus was worried that I had talked it up too much, but I think I was spot on, except for the fact that they didn’t have the rose hip jam this time, but the cherry syrup was mighty tasty as well!) We set off for the Spice Bazaar and then whatever struck our fancy after that. I don’t think I was the best tour guide since I was feeling a bit
sad since it was my last full day in Turkey. Marcus and I just started walking and I saw different parts of Istanbul that I had never seen before, at one point we started down a dark underpass and Marcus and I just kind of looked at each other as if to say “umm are we sure this is a good idea?”, but it turned out well as once we got a little further down there were plenty of people.
We eventually had to bust out Marcus’s handy dandy GPS to find the Spice Bazaar because we really succeeded in getting lost! We found it and I was really looking forward to having Marcus experience the sensory overload of the Bazaar, it was good, but since it was Sunday some of the surrounding shops were closed, (that just means you have to come back Marcus!) So I didn’t get to introduce him to the cologne guy, but we had a great time walking around. Marcus had said that he wanted to get a few things so I tried to encourage him to talk to some vendors so they could show him what they had. Eventually he did, I hope
he enjoyed the experience! We then dropped off our stuff at the hotel and had a nice chat with the parental units on Skype! It was a bit tough talking to them while on the tour but now that we were on our own schedule it was much easier.
We then had some time so we went and got lost again but this time we walked along the Golden Horn, apparently tourists really don’t know about it because we only saw Turks! People were swimming and snorkeling (which is hard since the current is so strong!), we saw people lying about, and people cooking. We even saw a shooting game set up on the rocks, where you could choose from two BB guns or a .45 hand gun! The things to shoot were balloons, cans (beer or soda) and cigarettes standing on end. At one point someone was ready to play the game and had the gun up and his finger on the trigger and the guy running the game just walked in front of all the targets! He kind of held up his hand to say don’t shoot but it was just so fascinating to see him just decide
to walk across! Only in Turkey!
Marcus and I thought we were walking in the right direction, but it turned out (after consulting his handy dandy gps) that we walked too far. Even though we had to backtrack it was nice just to walk and talk with my brother along the beautiful backdrop of the Golden Horn.
We were supposed to meet up with Fatih since he was taking a tour to Chanakkale that day (Fatih is superhuman, he just finished at 14 day tour only to wake up the next day and drive 5 hours each way to take tourists to Gallipoli do the tour and drive back, it would be a 14 hour day for him) and was getting back at 8:00. So we talked the night before and decided to meet up at 8:30 to get dinner and dessert. When we get to the Sultan Hostel we found him and Taylee playing Tavlah and Brett watching. I had a sinking feeling that something was lost in translation when a few beers arrived and no one was drinking them very fast. After the 2nd game of backgammon I asked if everyone had already had dinner,
and my suspicions were confirmed, yes. Oh well, so much for that.
Earlier, as to not spoil our dinner but to tide us over till later, we ate Sut Misir (boiled corn) just like when we were kids, and dondurma (ice-cream) again like when we were kids. I had already had these things, but Marcus had yet to re-experience them. So I had fun asking the vendors for these items in Turkish, which made them happy and me happy since I was getting to use the language!
I wanted to take Marcus out for dinner as it was our last night in Istanbul, but he didn’t want to try the Nargile, and wasn’t sure (at first) what he wanted for dinner. We tried sitting down at a restaurant but we didn’t get any service for the first 15 minutes, and then when we finally received a menu Marcus realized that he wanted Iskender, but it wasn’t on the menu. Since we had had it with the place we decided to leave and to go ask Fatih where we could get some good Iskender, it turned out that the Sultan Hostel served Iskender, so we just sat down and
ate there. Marcus and Fatih played some more backgammon, a sight that I was not going to see for a while so I sat and soaked it up. It was a bittersweet goodbye to Turkey, I was excited to see Europe and really get to travel and make plans for myself, but at the same time I know that this is one hell of a special place in the world and I really didn’t want to leave.
The next morning was an early one as Marcus had to leave for the airport at 6:30. The staff had made up his breakfast the night before and it was arranged that the person on staff would get up and get it for him. Marcus went downstairs and I was a few minute behind him so I could say goodbye and so he didn’t have to eat breakfast alone, but when I got down Marcus was just sitting there without breakfast! We were on a bit of a time crunch since he had to eat and catch the taxi. I call out and I don’t hear anyone, so I walk to the back and find a breakfast made up in the fridge
Sad to see him go
And I know he isn't looking forward to the real world either!
and bring it out to him (I am such a sweet sister :-D) . Marcus really loves his bread and I went back to try and find him some, but I couldn’t (fail). As Marcus is eating I realize that we need to be calling the taxi, like, now (eat faster!) but I don’t know how, and I couldn’t talk to them even if I could. (Ok, someone has to be around here somewhere.) So I did what anyone would do, I left the hotel lobby (the door locks behind you) and I rang the doorbell. Sure enough! One of the guys came from in the back and let me in, and then I kindly asked him to call a taxi for my brother. He then brought out cay and orange juice for Marcus (but not any bread I don’t think, sorry Marcus!) Within 5 minutes the taxi was there and I was waving goodbye to my brother. We had a blast together and I am so glad he made the trip over. He blended in great with the tour group and we all got along. I know he has plans to come back soon as well!
a bit more of a lazy morning, I went up and got to test out the Jacuzzi bathtub in the room (so nice!) then took my time packing since it was the last time before my flight back to the US that I needed to get everything perfectly in the bag (the rest of my trip is all by train). Then I went down to breakfast where I chatted with some older Americans who had just gotten to Turkey, Lynn encouraged me to tell them about my trip and where I was going and where I had been. Then to my surprise Ayse came over and handed me a piece of paper with my name on it, I opened it and it said that they will miss me and to come back soon, and it was signed by everyone at the hotel. It was so sweet! I couldn’t stop hugging everyone (since when does a hotel really make you feel like family?) I will miss all of them dearly, everyone has been so great there and they were really influential in making my trip to Turkey one that holds a very special place in my heart.
I went back
Lynn, Ayse, and I
I will miss them!
upstairs to finish charging my net book so I could use it in the airport and pack the last few things, when Lynn came up and said that another couple was going to the airport and if I was ready I could share a cab with them, perfect! I was all ready to go! Ayse came and helped me with one of my bags (I only had 2, but she insisted) and as we were getting into the cab, the entire hotel staff came out and said goodbye, with hugs and kisses, and they all waived as we drove off. Such a special time and I miss them so much.