Monday, July 16, 2012

ISTANBUL - Where to begin?

It took me three days to get into the rhythm of Istanbul.  I had been warned it was like no other place I've visited.  We arrived at 11:45 pm on a Wednesday night and after all the customs and immigration rigamarole, we finally were taken to our hotel at around 12:45 am.  The first thing I noticed was the restaurants were teeming with people--I mean fully packed!  At 12:45 am on a Thursday? This city does not sleep!

                                                                        Hagia Sophia
                                                            10:00 pm on a Tuesday night

                                                 View from our hotel room in the Old City

Don't you love that first morning view from your hotel room after you've arrived late at night in a strange city? Fingers crossed that something pretty is just behind the curtain.

                                  Breakfast every morning on the rooftop terrace at our hotel.

First, let me say it was hideously hot and humid.  My friend Leslie and I are Arizona girls.  We get the heat--no problem.  But high humidity is a game changer.  Day one was spent roaming around the city to get a feel for it and looking for shade.  Day two was spent with a private tour guide and keeping an eye out for shade.   Day three we went to the New City, definitely preferring the Old City, and took our cooking class.  Day four through six we finally got the hang of it--returning to our hotel at 2:00 and not venturing back out in the heat until 6:00 pm.  We also finally got used to the constant aggressive selling techniques and just rolled with it, since avoiding eye contact didn't really work.

I loved these hard working people, the food, the art, the textiles, the mosques, the call to prayer 5-10 times daily depending upon which mosque we happened to be near.

                                                         Hot off the grill corn on the cob

                                    Sweet watermelon sold in the streets for a late night snack

                              Tea, snacks, and cold bottled water delivered to your picnic blanket

                                                                  Hagia Sophia

                                                                    Yay for shade!

                       And yay for this yummy drink - lovely little bits of pomegranate seeds
                                                             mixed with blood orange

                                                                 The Blue Mosque

                         Just a smattering of pics for now--more to follow when I've come up for air!

1 comment:

  1. Amazing trip. We need to swap pictures Kim. Call me