Friday, November 04, 2005
Beautifully planned by Julio, off we went for a long weekend to Istanbul, Julio, Fátima, Eladio and myself. I had been there about 20 years ago but only really remembered the covered bazar.
Pretty packed but interesting programme which included the Blue Mosque, Santa Sophia, the Basilica Cistern, Topkapi, Turkish bath at the famous Camberlitas baths (one of the highlights of the trip - soapy massage by big naked Turkish ladies was something to be remembered), visit to the Taxim square and walk down Istiklal street, drinks at the famous Pera Palace Hotel of Mata Hari and Greta Garbo fame, the mosaic mosque, the spice bazar, the covered bazar (4 hours non stop shopping - great fun bargaining. Eladio turned out to be a great bargainer. Funny thing I got many compliments on my looks from so many Turkish men at the Bazar and so I kept telling them that Eladio was my husband which only made them congratulate him on his beautiful wife!! Maybe Turkey should have been my country!!!! Finally coffee at the famous Pierre Loti cafeteria and then a rip off dinner at the Kalamari fish restaurant. All in all a great time, despite the torrential rain most of the weekend.
Sultanahmet hotel was a great choice and the best thing was we complained about our room and got moved to the best one the hotel had with a view to the Blue Mosque - only downside being that we were woken up everyday at 5 am to hear the Iman calling the faithful to prayer!!
Photos are of Julio, Fátima and me on our balcony at the hotel, Eladio at the Kalamari restaurant and Julio, Fati and me buying ceramics at the bazar.