Published: April 14th 2011April 14th 2011
Today was a blob day. We had already decided not to go on any organised optional tours. So with free internet access we arranged a skype back to our daughter, Philippa, and her three young boys in New Zealand. What a great way to start the day seeing them all.
With the chance to lie in we managed the early morning coffee. Breakfast was a little late for us but it set us up for the adventures to follow.
We thought it a great idea to use the local bus service and explore the nearby retail centre – Migros Mall. For 1.75 lira it was a cheap trip. The Migros Mall is a very fashionable centre and looks reasonably new. We are always fascinated by what is for sale in supermarkets. We have seen a small green “fruit” served at some of the hotels and today we were told by a very nice shop employee that they were “green” almonds and can be eaten raw. We decided it was an acquired taste.
Wandering the mall, we came across what we believe a TV promotion of people living in a lounge with prize money of 1,000,000 lira. A TV crew member was kind enough to photograph Chris in front of the set. A shop window display of 3D TVs not needing special glasses drew our attention. Watching the demo video on screen we quickly realised we were looking at NZ scenes and were suddenly viewing Christchurch sights and buildings from before the 22 February earthquake. Sad and very moving to see all that as it was.
Early afternoon we felt it time to head back to the hotel for a bit of a rest. Unfortunately the weather had turned very nasty with rain and strong winds. So it was back inside to find an umbrella. Marilyn used all her language skills to find the Turkish name for umbrella. Once this was achieved it was back into the supermarket and asking at the information desk only to discover the girl was Australian with great English. Now that we had an umbrella it was still too wet to head out so further wanderings around the Mall we found the movie theatre. Wednesdays are special price days. So we chose a movie in English with Turkish sub-titles starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston. Just like home there were countless ads and then the movie started. An hour into the movie it stopped and the lights came on – half time! Then more ads and the movie continued. Two girls came in at half time and thought we were sitting in their seats. Turned out they were there for the next showing. As we were leaving I commented to two men we had seen and heard speaking earlier if they were Australian. No they were New Zealanders from Mt Maunganui working in Istanbul.
It was time to head back to the hotel. What bus do we catch? We came on bus 52. So we asked a driver who spoke no English but the passengers were ever helpful and we were given the numbers of numerous buses to try. After several attempts of getting a bus and with the help of a young Turkish man who could speak some English we got on a bus and headed into the unknown. We had until 7:30am the next morning to get back to the hotel. We needn’t have worried. We arrived back safe and sound and much wiser, braver, and perhaps cockier for the experience.
With our washing done, bags packed, we are ready for the trip through the mountains tomorrow to our next destination – Konya. We won’t see the sea again until we reach Istanbul on the 19 April.