Dear Ethel, Family and Friends,
Well we eventually made it out of Turkey after 9 weeks, however not without some self induced stupidity. Have you ever showed up at the airport a day before your flight? Probably not, but that’s what the Noble’s managed to do. Imagine our surprise, well better a day before rather than a day late.
Enough of that, we had a good week in Istanbul, we stayed at the Cordial Hotel in the Sultanamit district, which is the old city area and very central. It has a very European feel with the cobble stone streets. The public transport is very good as well with trams, trains buses and ferries all using the same ticketing system, how organised is that? Walking is easy as well as the weather has been kind to us as it’s been much cooler, even cold at night. As it is still Ramadan, where the locals fast during the daylight hours, it is almost impossible to get into a restaurant after dark, so we ate before dark. However one day I had the dodgy kebab experience and was laid up for a full day, stomach cramps, the full works, nasty. Once again, lucky it wasn’t the day before we left.
We did our share of sightseeing, Blue Mosque, St Sophia Museum, the palace, including the harem (pay extra), the Grand Bazaar. We ate at a restaurant with local music and a whirling dervish (will be in a video), how do they do that without falling over? The only thing we didn’t do was a Bosporus river cruise. We also caught the tram out to the city walls and found it very disappointing. The walls are there and are impressive however we found a carboot style market there, but found that it was really a place for vagrants to sell stolen goods, we felt very uncomfortable and couldn’t really get away quickly as there was a bottleneck where we had to climb up the walls to get in and out.
Well I’m now here in Bangkok and Louise is at home with her mum for a couple of weeks and will join me soon. I have met up with some friends here and they tell me it is a good time to be finding work here, so I’ll be doing interviews and looking for somewhere more permanent to stay over the next week or so.
All the best for now
Ric & Louise