Saturday, September 13, 2014

The remaining 3 days and a half of my time in Istanbul

So by this point we had reached Wednesday, day 4 into the trip. And this is where the real challenge began. The Topkapi Palace. It is extraordinarily massive and every room is so full with artifacts and history its really hard to remember even half of all I saw. The architecture, the mosaics, the furniture, the ceilings! It was just so much and it exhausted my legs to as far as they could resist. Because we didn't just do the Topkapi, but also a Christian church, and the Archaeology museum (where there were statues dating 1694-1594 B.C.!). And then on to our favorite place to relax with a Narguile and Çay. I can't describe it all, so I would recommend that you just look at the pictures.

For the next day, we kept on that same path: Museums. We did the Science Museum and the Mosaic Museum (very beautiful pieces there) and the Basilica Cistern, which was impressive. Darkly illuminated, it would work perfectly in an Indiana Jones movie. The Medusa heads, that were quite massive, were a weird attraction in the cisterns creating a creepy environment around them. 

And for what it's worth, after that we were off to our favorite place yet again, and this time we met a nice guy to chat with. We started talking and discovered he was from Belgium but also was part Turkish and that he had a Colombian girlfriend from San Andres and had traveled much of the European world already at his young age. Just for the record, Colombians! You guys are everywhere aren't you? Even though we were close to reaching the end of our trip, he recommended some things for us to do and foods yet to try. He was very nice and interesting and we had a good evening chatting with him. When it was time to leave, the man that charged at the exit bid us farewell by saying 'See you tomorrow' to which both of us said, 'You are probably right'.
So there went 2 days, I know there is not much description here, but honestly, we only walked and did sightseeing. Again, look at the pics.
Getting to our place, Ati and Ozgur were there to inform us that we needed to change to one of the other houses the next day, which was fine because it was only a few blocks away.  We would be in the same room I had been in the first day while I waited for Alejo.

Tired of museums, the next day we opted for a relaxing day on an Island. Turned out to be that Büyükada wasn't as relaxing as we expected. I was dying to get the chance to swim again so I took my bathing suit along expecting some beach to stretch out on. No such thing as beach! People were swimming but it was on a rocky shore and slippery with vegetation. I insisted on getting to swim a bit, but being that there was no place to rinse off the sticky salf water, Alejo decided to be boring and sit and wait for me.

To my delight the water was great and not as salty as I expected.  I had fresh, sticky free skin after getting out of the Marmara sea. After that we wen't to have what was our worst meal of the whole trip, compared to all the other wonderful meals we had had. I don't know if it's because I grew up eating wonderful fish and seafood, but these guys really didn't know what they were doing. Neither Alejo's fillet nor my anchovy-ish kind of food, was well garnished or well served. Disappointed about the result of this day we got some ice cream to wash away the taste and did the only thing that we knew would not do us wrong. Narguile and Çay, and our last one for that matter. We went back to our place, packed, and were picked up by Ozgur to go to the new place.

So the week was up. Being pretty much already packed, we went for breakfast at Simit Sarayi in Taksim Square and then headed back to get our stuff. We arrived to the bus stop for the airport by taxi and weren't able to take the 1 pm bus because it was full. We waited for the 2 pm bus which arrived at 1:30 so that we could load our bags. Once I was on the bus I felt something was missing around my neck, and that's when I freaked out. I had forgotten my passports!!! I ran out to tell Alejo, and he was gonna go to the new place to get them but we decided it was better if I went, just in case I took too long, he would take the bags to the airport and wait for me there. But if I didn't make the 2 pm bus, I wouldn't make the flight! I took a deep breath, got in a taxi and prayed this guy spoke English. I lucked out. He understood me perfectly and the entire situation, so we rushed on our way. Problem was that since we were in a new place for only the last night I wasn't even sure how to get there by car! I vaguely described where I thought it was and he answered, 'ok, I know'. How did he know? I have no clue, because this place from the outside looked like any other house, but he took me right to the door and said 'Go, I'll wait for you!! I went, rang the bell and the man that opened said 'You forgot your passports, I have them in the kitchen come' We hurried up, I thanked him a billion times and dashed back to the taxi. we had done all of this in about 8 minutes. Relieved I had my passport, we chatted all the way back and he even gave me a new Turkish name that started with G, but that I can't remember. All I know is that it meant something like garden of roses. Of course I took a picture with my savior and prince in shining armor and got back to the bus 15 minutes before 2 pm. We had done it in 15 minutes. I got back in the bus sat down completely awe struck at the incredible luck I had. To think, this would just bethe beginning of my lucky day and the rest of my travel.

I would like to give special thanks to Ati and Ozgur for making our stay very comfortable, for giving me a place to rest even though I got there very early in the morning before check in time. If anyone would like to stay with them, the place belongs to Emre and here is their site on Airbnb: Emre's place with Ati and Ozgur

I almost for got, the Pictures for this post are from SAM_0919 up to the last one. 

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