Sunday, June 3, 2012

Reading to Istanbul - quite the contrast

A dash home straight after work Friday & a mad pack for nine nights away was all to try & beat the holiday traffic (4 day Diamond Jubilee weekend). I'm not sure I did, but it only took ninety minutes until Reading's awful road system had me going around in circles.
A delightful evening was spent with Anna & Luke and their NZ visitors - Penny, Kathryn & Megan. That is over half of one of my "second families" from my childhood in Te Puke. As always when visiting Anna & Luke, we ate well - Luke cooked up a storm, before we went out for dessert. A great evening of that easy conversation & banter you get with old friends was topped off with sublime lemon curd tart at Jamie's (Oliver) Italian. So far away from home, a lot of talk was of travels past, present & future. I did actually remember to snap a photo of visitors from afar - it's rather unflattering as people seem too interested in their phones.

Leaving everyone after breakfast Saturday, I boarded a train to Gatwick to start my week's holiday. Arriving in Istanbul and walking from the metro, I suddenly realised that this is the first Islamic country I've been too - the mosques & evening prayer call gave it away.

As usual, it's a lot hotter here than home & I've spent most of the day walking all around the Old City. The public buildings, mostly mosques, are incredible, things seem cheap, it's busy and away from the main touristy area the place is filthy - litter, feral cats & dogs everywhere. The food is varied and well good. That's enough of a brief introduction to Turkey for now, I'm sick of typing on my phone. Here's all the relevant photos on my phone at once - as Blogger for Android is not particularly useful.

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