Saturday, 11 June 2016

SAW to LGW (or Expulsion from Paradise)

I sleep a tad later today, so it is already brighter when I walk the bridge for the last time.

14 million people live in this city.  But the quiet at 6 am is almost overwhelming.  Nice!

I'm walking back to Galata about 5:50 am. That's 5 minutes after the vendor of seasoned buns and his cart usually get to the foot of the bridge.  I spot him when I'm still over the river and apparently he has spotted me to because he is facing my direction when he throws up both his arms in an Allah-be-thanked gesture.  This is only the third morning that I have seen this man and his gesture is warming my heart.
Here is his picture again ;-)

This time I take 3 buns and bring them back to Zu, who got to sleep in (a bit, at least ;-).

A couple of hours later, from my breakfast viewpoint on the 9th floor, I get another view of the bridge that I walked this morning.

No shortage of large Mosques

We are both not happy to leave here.  None of us expected that this crazy idea of flying to this strange city of Istanbul would result in something we could not living without in our memories.  So when it is time to check out we take a couple of last-minute pictures of the corner room.

Zu has a thing about anchors (not sure whether she feels adrift or if 100 Mile House is just sooo far from the ocean), so I take a picture of the ferry jeton one obtains in exchange for 4 Turkish Lira. Yes, that's 2 bucks to take a ferry from Europe to Asia ;-)

At least we are still have an entire trip ahead of us. Leaving from here to go back to Vancouver would be truly sad.

There is soccer playing on a screen in the ferry waiting room
This ferry run is completed using a very modern ferry.

Taking a boat from Europe to Asia to get to the airport to fly to Europe again

Congratulations for building a modern ferry with outside seating !

Again, there are no pictures of the bus ride. I fall asleep again ;-)

But I LOVE the children's play area in Sahiba Gokcen international Airport.  There is an Indian Tipi, a pirate ship, and all the horses are made from Paper Machee that is lovingly coloured. No cheap ugly plastic here but lots of room for imagination.

A four hour airplane ride?  Sleep again ;-)

Arrival in England is different this time. Just out of the plane, all passengers are herded through a narrow corridor in single file by a British man with a dog.  Imagine a haggard and RUDE British officer shouting at brown people during the time when Britain 'owned' India. The voice and attitude of the man herding us now is atrocious and most likely better than those of officers in India, but I get a tiny glimpse of what it must have been like not to be white in the British Raj. I'm sure some older people from Hong Kong can tell stories about that too.

The hotel posts the European soccer championship game schedule in the elevator.  This is how I remember that the championship is going on.  And it's in France where I'm going to be before the end of the trip.

This particular game will end up in mass riots between English and Russian hooligans that will get the Russian team almost evicted. Hockey fans love fights on ice and soccer fans like to do it themselves?  Aren't there better things to do with one's life?
At some point I hear sirens and sirens and sirens racing by the hotel for probably 15 minutes. I almost think that some nut did something at Gatwick Airport but during a smoke break I realize that it's probably just a mass fainting at the neighbouring Travelodge (or maybe some English fans met some Russian ?)

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