TIRED OF THE RISKS OF BEING A PEDESTRIAN IN KENYA.....Ida and I decided to find somewhere really dangerous to visit....Having rejected anywhere in South Africa as being just too fraught with crime and tinkering we went thru our collection of old 7 singles and VHS flicks & came across 'Midnight Express'.Made sometime in the 70s, this tale of a young American caught smuggling hishhash out of Turkey, scared the living daylights outa me and I not only immediately gave up coffee but decided to never ever visit Istanbul. However, some years later (actually last week), I read a review of the movie which made me reconsider taking up the old beans again.
To quote: In Mary Lee Settle's 1991 book Turkish Reflections, she writes, "The Turks I saw in Lawrence of Arabia and Midnight Express were like cartoon caricatures, compared to the people I had known and lived among for three of the happiest years of my life."
Add to this the fact that my daughter, Sarah, had been not once but twice and returned only with tales of apple tea and sunsets, I decided to 'go and see for myself'.
So, we said a cheerful farewell to our pet giraffe and headed off to the place
where East meets West.
Part of the deal when headin' out to Attaturk country is the optional cultural immersion course provided by Emitrates Air.
We learnt 2 invaluable lessons:
(1) Islam and High Fashion can co-exist and
(2) Musgrave Centre in Durban is cheaper than the duty free section of Dubai International Airport.
Arriving at Attaturk International Airport I have an uncanny feeling that this is like home...with some crucial differences. Basically everything here is called after the Big Guy, Attaturk and it seems really justifiable as we discover later. The terminal, the customs, the friendly officials, functional and bright lights...all tell of a
DO they drive on the left or the right? Can't say yet as all seems so fluid and
I am addicted to airports, besotted with aeroplanes and would be quite
happy to just stay there all week, but there is a strange calling deep inside
The Egyptian spice market
me that says, 'venture forth in the name of the African Explorers, venture forth into the land behind the veil.'
smooth, an antidote to the last few days of frustration at the chaos of
the Kenyan driver mindset. On a beezlebub scooter 2 chaps, one with helmet, the other, dark hair in the sun.
This is a sexy country full of sexy people, some behind the veil and others in gay abandon. Hippies, punks, burkas, apricot sellers, technofingers, waterpipers galore, tea drinkers, silver sellers, pedestrian cobbled lanes, pavement cafes, trams and prams. Seemingly no agro, crime is not a concept in this part of town, Taksim Square, where restaurants and sexy people radiate out into the East of Western Europe and the west of the East.
Sarah, my somewhat
aughter still has some apple tea left in Cape Town. But clearly needs more.
' Ok sooooo! ISTANBUL!!!
Places you must try an
d go to.... :
The Blue Mosque of course
The Hagia Sophia
Topkapi Palace and the gardens surrounding it
Buyuk Ada Island (beautiful little island in the Marmara sea, no cars only horse-drawn carriages and bicycles... and horses roaming free everywhere)
The underground wat
er chambers in Sultanahmet - its very close to the Hagia Sophia...
The Grand Bazaar, of course...
Take a ferry to the Asian side and just walk
around and explore, especially around where the train station is... just further on from there is also where you take the ferry to the island...
At the end of that long shopping street in Taksim that i was talking about, there are lots of very cool little shops and cafes and allyways.... just explore around there!
Go to the University grounds... they are close to the Grand Bazaar
Go and eat LAHMACUN - you will find
it almost everywhere!!!! Its
sooooo yummy :-) Also have lots of sutlac (rice pudding) and really good baklava... and drink lots of tea and apple tea... Ooooooh, im so jealous!!!!!! Please bring me back as much apple tea as possible :p
Have and amazing time, if i think of anything else, ill email you!!!!
Lots of love xxx
Okee, now I have a mission! Tomorrow I will take an arb direction and walk for an hour. Stop,
Take a 2 minute video clip of whatever it is I am looking at and then trot home. Maybe I will find
a cycle shop en route. Then the next day I can cycle for an hour!