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Brad’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 24 Apr 2005

Location: Istanbul, Turkey

MapWell, I've been going pretty non-stop (still) since the last update, it'll be nice to get on the bus to Anzac Cove and just sit down for a while! I ended up going out with them to Taksim Square, there was a huge open air Turkish pop concert on and millions of people everywhere! We watched that for a bit then went to a little (but very croweded) bar for a few beers, then they took me by taxi back to my hostel. They were extremely generous, they insisted they paid for everything!

The next morning I tok a visit to Topkapi Palace, which was very good but perhaps not quite as good as LP suggests, nor for the $40 admission fee! It is a huge complex, but has none of the grandur of Aya Sophia and there were crowds everywhere. Still, it was very interesting, I went on a tour in the harem and saw various relics, some of which seemed pretty authentic (the hair and a letter of Mohommad) and others pretty dubious (the rod of Moses, the Sword of David).
Took a walk after lunch down to the Grand Bazzar and dropped in to see my two friends (Girhan and...I don't remember his name!). I told them I'd be back in Istanbul in Monday and they said their cover band was doing some recording, would I like to come? Sweeeet!

I ended up walking all the way back up to Taksim Square, through the Spice Bazzar, it took me a good hour and a half to come back. The Spice Bazzar was way cool, it was really busy because it was a Saturday. There was all sorts of spices, turkish delight, cheese, baklava and countless other foodstuffs with everyone shouting and singing to try and get people to buy their wares. Very exotic! Unfortunatly no pics, my camera ran out of batteries!

Went out for dinner (for all who were wondering, I am now no longer vegetarian!) with these two cool guys staying at my hostel, Chris (Dutch) and Alan (American), and then after dinner went and had a Turkish bath and massage in this bathhouse built in the sixteenth century. Boy did I cop a pounding but had a very good sleep after that!

This morning I'm getting on the bus to go down to the dawn service, it's going to be a long and tedious trip and a cold night but worth it I'm sure. One of the worst things I've found to far is the area I'm staying, although it is filled with beautiful buildings and history, there are more tourists than Turks here! Worst of all are the large numbers of larrikin Aussies who are really rude to the locals and really don't give a toss about the culture. I'm afraid we don't come across so well here, but hopfully they'll all clear out once Anzac day is over.