A Six Month Odyssey


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Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet
February 9th 2020
Published: February 9th 2020
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07 Feb 2020

Istanbul

As often happens, our easy, unplanned days often turn in to some of the busiest. After walking through the long, winding park at the back of the Topkapi Palace, we found ourselves by the banks of the Bosphorous Strait, overlooking the Asia side of Turkey. Those of you watching the new series, Ottoman, will know exactly where that is, and what it means to Turkey. We walked over the Galata bridge, which crosses the Golden Horn. Shane has had quite alot to say about the Golden Horn over the last few days. I have been ignoring him!Finally....I found someone selling Gozleme! Apparently it is only a summer food here so my dream of consuming most of my calories eating the stuff will die here also. Shane is making up for it eating the fresh bagels covered in sesame seeds. On the way back, the last place I want to end up is the Grand Bazaar! The market itself is 560 years old, has over 4000 shops in 67 streets and has a minimum of around 300,000 people go through it every day. God help me, I swear everyone sells the same things - rugs, turkish delight, bags, shoes, leather jackets and lanterns. Nothing more and nothing less. I can't bear it! "Let's go this way then. Just head up", says shortcut Shane.

And that's where we end up anyway dont we! You dont even know you're in it until you are, and then its too late!

08 Feb 20

Istanbul


It has been snowing overnight !! Lets go! Let's get out while its clear and the snow is settled on the tops of the buildings so that I can get some nice pictures. "Really?", says Knackers.

So we head over to Galata on the tram, but put off going to the tower as there are too many people on it, and we continue on to Taksim square. Its fabulous walking around with a little bit of snow falling, but the wind is cutting and Taksim square is very underwhelming. The streets that run off it though are wide and modern, and in stark contrast to Sultanahmet. By the time we make our way back to the Galata tower and get to the top , there has been a little more snowfall, so almost everything is dusted in white. Looks as though I might get some nice pictures after all. Shane is not a fan of the snow, nor is he a fan of the camera. By the time we leave the tower, its both blowing a gale and snowing, so he has ordered that we seek shelter across the road and have some lunch.

What do you know? There's a KFC and he has taken off, heading straight for it, weaving through trams and traffic. I'm not sure if he was trying to get out of the weather or he was afraid he wouldnt get a table!

Shane says: Dirty bird here we come. Average dirty bird. Nothing on Morocco.

Sharls was commenting earlier about the Golden Horn. It was a strategic position held by the Romans from 330 until 1453 when a young Sultan Mehmed II also known as Mehmed the Conqueror, landed a final blow on the Eastern Roman Empire. 23 previous attempts to take Constantinople had failed over the ensuing 1123 years. Constantine 11th was the Emperor who lost the city. I was trying to explain these magnificent history stories to Sharls but she kept ignoring me. 😂😂 Or could it be that every time we crossed the Golden Horn I kept mentioning that it wouldn't be the last Golden Horn she'd see in this city. 😂😂😂 No I'm sure she was just ignoring me whilst I was telling her all about this magnificent city with so much history.

09 Feb 2020

Istanbul

Well after a lengthy night on a dinner cruise on the Bosphorous last night, it was a slow start this morning, for Knackers at least.

The first indication that this was going to be a pretty amateur night and a messy one, was that the mini van ride to the boat took 45 minutes.

There are about seven Ukranians drinking whisky out of a 2 litre coke bottle when we get on, and they're still at it when we get off the bus. The other seven are some of the prettiest Japanese boys I have ever seen. They could have been a boy band. Is there such a thing as JPop? When we get on the boat we are led to two seats in the middle of one of the very long three rows of tables. The entree, a cold meze plate, is already in place and those that are already seated have either already finished eating or have refused to eat it. Our mains are a choice of four and we chose fish and meatballs, and dessert is a piece of baklava the size of a 50 cent piece. There is also plenty of wine and beer, which is just as well, because we are going to need it!

The entertainment is a dancing show straight out of Dreamworld back in the 80's. Shane has had just enough beer and red wine, to appreciate the skills of the onboard belly dancer, who is approximately 60, and who hogs the floor for about 40 minutes. The balding europeans who have just had their hair transplants are busy stuffing notes in to her beaded bra, the JPop boys are putting on a better dance show than she is, and the blind Israeli scholar sitting opposite me has put in his earplugs and is rocking back and forth in his chair with his hands over his ears because he is sensitive to excessive noise! Get the picture? "This is the best €50 I've ever spent!", exclaims Knackers as he chugs back on another wine.Kill me now!!!!😨

Shane says: Real slow day today. Golly's not feeling so good this morning. Fish was off I suspect. Should have gone with the meatballs like my smart wife, Sharls. Always picking the right food this girl. I, on the other, hand always seem to pick the food that is contaminated. 😂😂 It can't have been the wine or beer. Or could it?😲😲😲 I did get my €50 worth. Oh yes I did. Come to think of it, the fish was nice. Poor Sharls married a dero. My €50 of wine/beer/food ended up all over the apartment. Guess who got the job of cleaning it up. Yep the magic fairy did it. I woke up and the place was clean. No Sharls in bed. Oops I could be in trouble here.

Sharls says: No comment, just a variety of different emotions! 😨😠😭😠😠😤😤

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