Friday, 10 June 2016

OMFG, I woke up in a TURKISH DELIGHT( or Friends, meet my new crush ISTANBUL)

I am walking outside at 5:30 am wake up receptionist (3:30 GMT)

Lots of pictures, I'm falling behind with posting, so all these pictures are posted now without proper text, except some reference keywords so I don't forget the relevant events. There is pictures missing, some pictures that shouldn't be here, so this post is definitely going to change in the coming days.

donut man

Breakfast walk with Zu


Oh, did I mention that breakfast is on the 10th floor roof of the hotel with a view over the Golden Horn? ;-)

Then comes the ADVENTURE of the day.

Last night, I had left my camera in the taxi that drove us from the airport to downtown Istanbul, a drive of about 25 kms.

In a last ditch  effort of hope, I had checked at the hotel reception and at the piece of sidewalk where I had exited the taxi. When I returned to the hotel entrance, the receptionist was holding up a piece of paper and was saying "Your taxi driver called. He found the camera and you can pick it up tomorrow at the taxi office at the airport".

I am speechless. That happens? Returning a $500 camera instead of keeping it? That was my first impression of the honesty and integrity of the people of this country and it wouldn't be my last.

So today it's time to reach the airport by PUBLIC TRANSIT to retrieve the camera.

Zu is going to walk the European Coast of Istanbul East and I'm going to take a ferry to Asia to catch the bus to the airport.  We were going to do that trip last night, but the plane landed with delay at 11 pm and we only got out of passport control at 11:30 pm, so we took the fateful taxi.

The Ferry Ride

The Bus Ride

I have nothing to report because I sleep through the one hour bus ride. I have this nagging suspicion that I have become one of those "sleep on the bus or train with drool coming out of his mouth guys". Ah well. Too bad.

When I get to the airport, I discover that there is a security check and metal detector scan before one even is allowed to enter the terminal building. Cool.  They do it professionally and quick, no problem with that.  The first two tourist information booths with English -speaking personnel can't be convinced that I'm NOT looking for a taxi, but for the taxi OFFICE of the driver's company, so screw them.  I end up talking to taxi drivers, who in general speak VERY LIMITED English, and one points me to another, who points me to the next, who points me to a fourth, who deferentially approaches and about 60 year old grizzled thick man sitting on a chair in the taxi row, who, after some further discussions and a couple of telephone calls, waves me closer and indicates to me that I should hop into his car parked right there among the taxis. If there ever was a Godfather of Turkish Taxi Drivers, he with his fingers studded with ancient and gorgeous silver rings is HIM, and I am sitting in his car being driven to an undisclosed location.

My heart rate goes down when I no longer can escape the conclusion that our destination is the den of all Airport Taxi Drivers, and indeed the 'TAXI OFFICE: I have been looking for.  Here the slow moving Don is treated even more deferentially. Most young guys keep their distance from him and only a very few older guys approach him and greet him with half a French peck on the cheek and half let's rub our foreheads together routine. I stay 3 steps behind him to grant him the respect he indubitably has earned over the years.

taxi/bus pictures

 rooftops cell!

Fish restaurant cell

 Evening walk bridge


morning pictures

carpet salesmen

Hagia Sophia pigeons

Taksim Square

cisterns cell

back to hotel


fish bread
zu ordering smokable melon

dont get ticket for dervish

Grand Bazaar


Taksim square


Galata Tower

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