07 December 2009

More from Istanbul

The last week has been all about Kelly & I talking about how much fun we had in Istanbul. We can't stop it, we had a great time !

Our hosts, Z & PWe have loads of pics, the hard part is picking which ones to put on the blog.

The Ortaköy mosque (below) is in a lively neighborhood ( Ortaköy )on the Bosphorus and home to a lot of night life...which we sampled...and enjoyed.

Another highlight from the trip was just walking around and shopping. We really didn't buy anything, although we were tempted to buy enough rugs for 7-8 houses and lights for another 12.

There were cats and dogs all over the city, especially at the bazaars. I spent half my time looking at cool stuff and half my time preventing Kelly from picking up flea infested Turkish kittens.

It seems every place we go, you always come across those things that people do for "luck'.

Theres always a statue with its nose/toe rubbed shiny, or a fountain you have to walk around 3 times, a rock to touch, or a monument you have to throw coins at etc etc

At the Hagia Sophia there is a hole in a column that you jam your thumb in and make a circle with your hand whilst making a wish. Its called the "sweating column" and if your finger comes out wet, your wish will come true

Hopefully with all this thumb jamming and statue rubbing that we have been doing, we're banking a lot of good luck for the future.

I think what sticks with me most about Istanbul, is the magnificence.

Much like a visit to Rome, we found ourselves just gawking at some of the sites. In fact our first stop downtown on day one was the Basilica Cistern. Just one of several HUNDRED sisterns the Romans built under Constantinople to store water.

Its not that big.... only 100,000 sq ft ! 336 columns and enough room to store almost 3 million cubic feet of water !

Then you walk outside and BAM ! Your looking at the Hagia Sophia

and across the way from that BAM ! The Blue Mosque.

Every time you peek out a window, BAM! Wheres the camera.

The place just oozes Ottoman glory.

Add a sunset and you have some breathtaking stuff.

Of course, our experience was greatly enhanced by Zeyneps family's hospitality, which included providing us with a car and driver for the extent of our vacation....

and , of course, Patrick's enthusiasm is priceless

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