Monday, April 23, 2007

Istanbul adventures - revised

I just got back from the most spectacular week. I have so fallen in love with Turkey - I may never come home. Mary flew over from DC and I met her Istanbul. There is so much to tell, that I'll say very little. In sum, we explored the major sites (Blue Mosque, AyaSofya, Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar etc.) and wandered in random neighborhoods.

We also spent two days (one night) in the city of Bursa. Marvelous! Bursa is in the mountains, so is stunning. It also happens to be the end of the silk road and the beginning of the Ottoman Empire. We saw the tomb of the founder of the Ottoman Empire. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around that one!

In addition to amazing sights, we ate a never-ending stream of delicious foods; and everywhere we went we met fun and interesting people.

On our last night (Saturday) I was so bummed about leaving that I told Mary I was going to stay up all night because I didn't want to miss a minute of Istanbul time. When I said that, I didn't know if I was kidding or not. But I wasn't. We went out to a performance of the Whirling Dervishes (how do they do that?) then had dinner. After dinner, we went dancing with Erol, our adorable bellhop and one of his friends. At about 1ish, Erol and his friend left because Erol had to work the next day. M and I stayed at the bar chatting with some very cool New Zealanders - one of whom is a vet who works with international animal regulations and can possibly put me in touch with the appropriate Turkish authorities for sending hamsters home! Then, we actually closed the bar. Old stodgy me - closed a bar. So the four of us wandered Istanbul at 2:00 in the morning - and found another open pub where we sat and chatted until 4am, at which point I needed to get back to the hotel to get ready and catch my 4:45 shuttle to the airport.

P.S. My photos from the trip aren't so good so I've included some wikipedia links for more information and some photos.

1 comment:

Leora said...

Wow...closing down a bar, eh? I'm so proud of you! :-) You make me want to go to Istanbul so badly!