Page 14 of BRWesty Travel Blog Posts


Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul July 12th 2007

Geo: 41.1075, 28.7079Josh: Istanbul was Constantinople. Now it's Istanbul, not Constantinople. If I was a melting snowman, I could still go to school...in a thermos. Bu-dum-cha!Thank you, thank you. Now for the blog. We woke up and went to Topkapi Palace, the sultan's palace. When we got in, we got an audio guide and started walking around taking turns with it. We saw a kitchen. We saw where he kept his babes and where he kept a lot of other stuff. We also saw his treasury with an 86-carat diamond with other ones all around it and it was lighted up for a sparkly effect. You could look at it forever. It was called the spoon-maker's diamond because the way the person got it was he traded 3 spoons for it, diamonds don't look that good ... read more
Galata Bridge restaurants
The original gilded cage.
Trying out "street corn"

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul July 12th 2007

Geo: 41.1075, 28.7079Today was Topkapi Palace day. We had a lazy morning and didn't rush to get out of the room. It had been a pretty late night on Wednesday going to watch the movie and we were all tired. Some combination of more sleep, a more relaxed schedule, the lecture the children heard from me about whining and becoming more accustomed to Istanbul made the beans much more pleasant to be around today. They've been doing well, but there was room for improvement. They all can easily walk 5 or 6 miles each day so there is no reason to whine for the first mile. It just makes it seem longer for all of us.I'm sure the kids will have a lot to report, but I'll try and pick up a few things they may ... read more
Exterior view at part of harem in Topkapi palace
Into the Harem
Ooooh...mother-of-pearl inlay

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul July 11th 2007

Geo: 41.1, 29Alex: I'm having a great time at Turkey. We woke up at the hotel and had breakfast. Then we took the train to the ferry. We rode the ferry to an island then we walked to a beach and went swimming. We had lots of fun. After that we bought some simit and peaches. If you wonder what simit is, it's Turkish bread with sesame seeds. The shape of simit is an "O." After we ate simit and threw some to the seagulls, we wrote postcards. We went to a park and went to a ferry back to the hotel. I played a game with my dad on the way back. It's called "I'm going on a picnic." How you play it is, the first person says, "I'm going going on a picnic and ... read more
Carriage Ride back to town
Princes Island
Tourist snap

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul July 10th 2007

Geo: 39.9439, 32.856Alex: I am having a great time in Turkey. As you know, I am in Istanbul. We had a tour guide today. He showed us to a 5-star hotel named the Four Seasons. If you want to know what a 5-star is, some people rate the hotels with stars 1-5. It was really beautiful, but it used to be a prison. I couldn't believe it but I knew the tour guide was right. Then we had lunch. I had a cheddar cheese pide. It was great. After that we walked around some more. Before that we went to the Grand Bazaar. A fact that I learned from mom was, they try to keep the dust down by spraying water on the ground. After all of that, we were exhausted. We went back to the ... read more
Flowers at the 4 seasons
Taksim mini golf
The Sultan and the Pasha

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul July 10th 2007

Geo: 39.9439, 32.856Mike: We decided to take a break today and get a guide for Istanbul. The thought was to get the lay of the town, see some sights and be prepared for our next few free days. Yusef met us at 9am and we toured the Hippodrome, Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia. Yusef knew a few facts and stories but was short of details and depth and spent much time on his cell phone. The Hippodrome used to be large oval for horse and chariot races and dates back many centuries. Now it is a paved oval surrounded by buildings with two ancient obelisks and one serpentine column at one end as the last vestiges of its former glory. The previous day I actually spent 10 minutes walking around the Hippodrome searching for it. ... read more
Another Henricus!
Art in the mosque
Blue mosque areal view

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul July 9th 2007

Geo: 39.9439, 32.856Kate: Today we went to the Grand Bazaar. There is an indoor and an outdoor part of it. What I noticed was that there are a ton of gold objects, mostly gold jewelry in most of the stores in the inddor bazaar. When we ventured outside, Mom and I checked out a spirograph stand. A spirograph is a series of plastic disks that can be used to create drawings. We weren't able to get one at the stand at the time, but later we got one for 3YTL. For the whole day I noticed that there were an insane amount of stray cats and kittens roaming the streets of Istanbul. I wanted to pat and feed each and every one of them because they were so scrawny, but I couldn't pet them because of ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul July 9th 2007

Geo: 39.9439, 32.856Alex: I am tired. Please do not disturb. I was really excited to see dad. We went on a sleeper train. When I looked out the window, there were lots of houses. It took a while for us to get to Istanbul; we took a ferry too. I saw some other ships, but mostly just water. We went to Europe from Asia. Anyway, now I am in Istanbul. It's a big open city. It's also crowded. The Grand Bazaar is there too. I bought two new shirts and a pants today. We got a lot of new magazines that dad brought too. And Dad also brought fresh clothes that I was happy about. You heard the message up above: do not disturb!... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul July 9th 2007

Geo: 39.9439, 32.856We're staying at the InterIstanbul hotel where things are pretty utilitarian, not like the beautiful, interesting, high-end places that we've been up until now. The room has four beds, a desk and a closet. The view is of someone's laundry. I'm hoping the shower will get fixed today, but we do have a tub. The kids love the elevator which has no safety gate between you and the wall as it moves up and down. Also, there is a rack of postcards in the lobby that feature pictures of scantily-clad babes and ancient, well-endowed male fertility staues. Those are worth some giggles.The location here is very good. We are two blocks from the Grand Bazaar and maybe a quarter mile away from many of the other big major sites like the Blue Mosque.Yesterday we ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul July 8th 2007

Geo: 39.9439, 32.856I woke up about 5:30 when Kate left to use the facilities. I couldn't get back to sleep because I didn't want to wake up when the train arrived in Istanbul. After I got dressed, I opened the window shade and was able to watch the sunrise on the Bosphorus River that is the dividing line between Europe and Asia here. Right now we are on the Asia side. I saw some ducks, a lot of boats-both small and large--some fisherman and quite a bit of housing; some of it reminded me a little of Miami because of the terra cotta roofs and the pink paint.As pretty as it was, by 6 I was getting a little antsy so I went down to the dining car for tea. I expected to get back and ... read more
Istanbul train station.
View of Istanbul from breakfast cafe

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Ankara July 7th 2007

Geo: 39.9439, 32.856Today really wasn't much to write home about. We had the long bus ride (see tail end of the entry I counted for yesterday) and then we made our way to the train station. The traveling is starting to wear on us and we're looking forward to staying in Istanbul for a week-- and even more forward to seeing "Dad" and then heading down to our house. We have some interesting experiences everyday though. I learned how to use a locker at the train station (much more difficult than one would think). I'm sure there was something else, but I'm pretty tired.We're on the train now. It's two beds per room and our rooms are right next to each other. It's 10:24 and Alex and Josh are falling apart. I'll be glad to get ... read more




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