Friday, March 6, 2015

Feb. 9 Istanbul, Turkey

Feb. 9, Part 1 Istanbul, Turkey

It was cold after sailing through the Sea of Myramurya to Istanbul; about 5º C. cloudy, windy and raining upon arrival. But what an interesting looking place! The harbour is a bustling hive of activity and the skyline has many tall buildings all crammed together on the hillside.

I was wimpy about leaving the ship and venturing out on our own because I would have liked it better if the weather had been better. The captain announced possible snow happening later in the day and while that’s no excuse, after all I am a Canadian, I wasn’t prepared warm clothing wise. In all honesty I had been checking the temperature of our ports of call for several weeks but still with a picture of Turkey in my mind of sun, sand, date palms and a couple of camels waiting by to carry us to a cool shady oasis. Who knew not?

Lots of people apparently. All of a sudden there’s cruisers wearing heavy winter coats, lots of puffy ones too. We were amazed thinking and wondering just how much luggage people bring to cover all sorts of weather while we had lightened up as much as possible. But my winter coat would have required me to have another piece of luggage and so I didn’t bring it nor did I wear it on the plane as general service plane seats are definitely too warm for a coat and not designed for puffy people. It was hard enough handling one bag plus a carry on and we never would have been able to handle the situation we faced in the middle of the night at the Rome airport with extra luggage. That’s when we noticed the puffy coat people had thongs on their bare feet…, can't think of everything eh!

A shore excursion to a nightclub was offered for this evening that included a Turkish meal called “Sultans Delight” and traditional Turkish entertainment with belly dancers, regional folk dance and a performance by an international singer. Ah well, it would have been an expensive evening that lasted until the wee hours and we do have an 8 A.M. excursion booked for tomorrow. Can’t do ‘em all, cruising and side trips takes lots of energy. Anyhow Turkish dinner was served in our dining room and a belly dancer came to our showroom and danced for us and taught us how to so that was cool.

Meanwhile walking the length of the ship a few times a day is a lot of exercise too, that's 294m or 965 feet. We went to a trivia contest and scored 7 out of 20 questions, one of which I’m pretty sure the correct answer was Mickey Mouse but the hostess claimed it was Popeye so I might have had 8 correct but will never know now because I forget what the question was.

So these pics include some of part two; Feb 9 excursion to the Istanbul Grand Bazaar

 very old cemetery
 Ancient city walls
 The fish market


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