Published: September 14th 2012September 12th 2012
Ok Toto, it's fair to say, I don't think we are in Kansas anymore!
Arrived at midnight, thank goodness for the transfer. Young Man explaining to me that my husband phoned ahead especially to have the roses painted on the side car for his beautiful wife with the accompanying hand kissing of yourself. Now I remember .... The italians learnt the art of seduction of the Turkish man .So after the pilot telling us that everybody needs visas and seeing everyone run to the cue for the visas. Waiting in the cue seeing Australians and Canadian needing US$60 visas and starting to think uncharitable thoughts about Denise - hello we get to the front of the cue and hand over the passports only to be told NZ's - oh they nice people no visa required. so who is responsible for us getting one over the Aussies I Would like to know.! ......... Very cute authentic Turkish hotel, ground floor , no stairs, across the road from Sohpia, any more central and it would be in the blue Mosque. which also means hearing first call to prayer at 5am . Awesome weird plumbing arrangements that after a complaint seemed to be rectified while we were a way with the visit from a plumber and a complete new design in shower head installed. Very weird.... A lot can be compensated for by very helpful and friendly staff . Out the door in the morning feeling still a little jaded.....trying not to break a leg on the cobblestones.........osh inspectors would have a coronary. Try to find Topaki palace ....what is it about men and maps.......Finally got inside. toured the Harems quarters, started in the 14th century. heard about the black eunuchs from Ethiopia, the slave girls educated and bought up to be consorts of the sultans and the quarters where they lived. Also cued to see the ancient relics, amongst which was the staff of Moses, and the saucepan of Abraham (jury is still out on these) In amongst relics belonging to Mohammad the crowds we overwhelming and I got sick of being jostled by rude Muslim men and women.Out of there and onto a tram just for orientation and a look around. orientation satilite is not working as i t takes several stops before we realize we are heading the the opposite direction to which we think we are. it's hot crowded and no one speaks English. Off the tram, another ticket and back the right way. Great fun............ went to The Han for dinner as instructed by Bronwyn Smith. Found it just around the corner from our hotel. Beautiful stuffed bread eaten sitting on cushions around a little table while the tourists take photos from the footpath of the ladies rolling the bread in the window. google The Han, Istanbul. ThurdayToday Grant left at 6.30am for Galipoli. (wearing the all black jersey). Will be very late back. Let's hope he can sleep on the bus.With a bit of trepidation I decided to brave it and find my way to the grand bazaar. Stopped to read the map a couple of times - only to find myself "picked up" and taken back to look at the carpets/porcelain and drink tea. I've had so much tea today I'm drowning. I finally found my way in to the Grand Bazaar, but as I expected I lost my sense of direction while in there and came out somewhere completely different ....it's fortunate I came out at all really considering what rabbit warren it is but I really enjoyed poking around by myself and I managed to find my way back to the hotel eventually.....I can report there is no label police in Istanbul and they are blatant, any label you've heard of and many I haven't. Gold, diamonds, precious stones, carpets, porcelain, key rings and lunch"..............hope I'm not sick tomorrow.