The Veteran Neophyte

There and back again

Posted in Turkey by Dave on January 8, 2015

For the holidays I flew to Massachusetts to visit with my brother and his family for a couple weeks, and spent a couple lazy days in Istanbul before leaving. The weather in Istanbul was lovely, sunny and cool, and I spent my time lazily wandering around, mostly just walking and soaking it up. I stayed near Galata tower:

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Here it is from across the water:

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As is obvious, the views from the top were stunning:IMG_3249 (Large) IMG_3248 (Large)

The stairs down were steep and narrow and lots more fun than the elevator.

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The only real tourist thing I did aside from wander was to visit the Blue Mosque, yet another architectural wonder, and still very much an active mosque (visitors only allowed between prayer times, etc.). At the entrance is this sign:

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My favorite bit is “Don’t be loud.” Here’s a couple shots, though I can’t possibly do it justice.

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As I said, I mostly wandered around Istanbul, soaking it up…

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I love the way these pigeons barely cling to the sloping shelf on this mosque:IMG_3267 (Large)

These are the local crows:IMG_3264 (Large)

The Grand Bazaar:IMG_3260 (Large)IMG_3259 (Large)

And a carpet merchant (they are legion) who wouldn’t leave me alone until I took his picture and promised to post it on Facebook. Sorry, man, this is all you get.IMG_3262 (Large)

Then it was off to the states for a VERY relaxing couple weeks in MA. It was largely uneventful, aside from an emergency root canal on Christmas Eve morning that I eagerly paid for out of pocket just to stop the pain. Fun!

I got to see all the kids, a rare treat, and just chill out. We lounged, we read books, we ate food, we watched movies, we napped, we went to Sears and bought a couple tools, and I got my dog fix from Ben and Gerry, who were kind enough to snuggle me often.

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(I also got the chance to play all the way through a FANTASTIC post-apocalyptic video game — “The Last of Us” for those who care — on Doug’s stunning big-screen projection system. This time I really mean it: Fun!)

Alas, all things must end, and I flew back to Turkey on Jan. 3/4 to go back to work…I’m now about halfway through this adventure.

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