Arrival in Istanbul

28 August:

The day has arrived, Istanbul here I come.

Things I recommend; red mullet, aubergines, water melon and Efes beer.

Things I don’t recommend; waking up at 5 am when you don’t arrive at your destination till midnight.

29 August

Arrived at Old City Hotel at 1 am. Surprised by sea view, just.


Awoke at 7:30. Lovely start to holiday with Turkish Airlines hospitality. First, an offering of Turkish delight, then some lovely food served by man in chef’s hat. Taxi driving is on a different level here.

Things I recommend; sleep. Wearing seat belts.

Things I don’t recommend; playing Palace when they’re in form. Second in the league? Can I return to UK with Palace at the peak of the summit?

30 August

A morning negotiating Istanbul’s new trams to get to Istanbul Modern and then on to Ortakoy. Kind of like Camden Town, but without the dogs on a rope. A simple lentil soup


for lunch, followed by tea


between two of the most beautiful buildings ever constructed, Ayia Sofia Cathedral

and Sultan Ahmet Mosque.


Things I recommend, figs and nuts. Sleep, still due a good night’s sleep, perhaps some Raki will help.

Sugar with Turkish tea.

Things I don’t recommend, milk with Turkish tea, leaving the jacket I’d washed and ironed in Hastings. As its 30 degrees dropping to 22 at night I might get away with it.

31 August

As a city of 14 million, Istanbul is no place to be less than 100% alert. Sharing trams, buses and pavements can be a challenge. Today we visited Emirgan Park before travelling across city to get tickets to Trabzon, 17 hours away. One more night here before we depart. Pictures include random cats


and the Galata Tower by night.


Caught up with sleep courtesy of an afternoon nap yesterday.

Things I recommend, the Istanbulkart, a version of oyster card, any journey, any distance for 50p.

Things I don’t recommend, coming to Istanbul for a quiet life

1 September

The most relaxing day so far, just hanging out in cafe’s and public spaces in the middle of the city. Discovered the Sultan’s Tombs, behind Ayia Sofia.


Fed crushed peanuts to pigeons.  A Turkish girl was walking around recording birthday greetings in as many languages as possible. I contributed in the English language. Happy 18th birthday Behre.

Things I recommend, doing nothing, and taking your time doing it.

Domestic news is that Kenan arrived safely in Croatia on his holiday and that Jafer is having a taster day at the Sherlock Holmes Museum.

Things I don’t reccomend, feeding peanuts to sparrows, they prefer corn.



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