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Liz and Vicki’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 22 Apr 2015

Location: Istanbul, Turkey

MapHi everyone we have been in Istanbul two days and after a couple of good sleeps we are feeling back to normal although still in the clothes we left in on the 19th! Yesterday after a hearty breakfast one has to be polite!! We set off for the Grand Bazzaar. On the way we made the mistake of pulling out a map like a couple of tourists. Before we new it we were hijacked by a charming Turk and off to his rug shop. There we were plied with Apple tea and pressured to buy a rug. Despite us resisting he took us to a local eatery and fed us beautiful traditional Kurdish food alongside the locals I am sure in the hope we would purchase the rug.

Eventually we made the Grand Bazaar, a maze of alleyways full of touts selling all the same commercial stuff, and pestering us to buy. We weren't that impressed really. In the end we bailed for a glass of wine on the terrace back at the hotel and an introduction to hookah smoking courtesy of two Arab women who insisted we try the rose inhalation.

The biggest joy of the day was walking back to our room to find our suitcases had arrived. So relieved.

Today , Wednesday is cold and raining with a clap of thunder. Big sightseeing day for us and lots of walking. Walked to the spice bazaar down by the Galata Bridge. So much better than the Grand Bazaar. Beautiful spices, dried fruit, teas, all sorts of foods plus the usual suspects, rug men, shoes, handbags and souvenirs. We did find some lovely linen places and have fallen for pomegranate tea. Delicious. It was another day of "firsts". First Turkish coffee and baklava. Devine. First Turkish pide (pronounced peeday) yum. Lots of smells and flavours.
We walked over Galata Bridge, a good vantage point to look back at the different architecture. There are so many mosques, all seem to be very grand. Architecture from Byzantine, Ottoman and Seljuk eras. So many different empires that are visible through Istanbul buildings.
Tonight we caught up with our grandfather's brother's granddaughter who is attending Gallipoli ceremony. We hadn't met before. She is here with her daughter. It was great to compare notes about what we all knew of our family history and lovely to meet up.
Well we are now packing up, an early start to head towards Gallipoli. A night in Eceabat and then to Anzac cove.
Looking forward to the next phase.
Vicki and Liz. Xx
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