Trip Start Apr 29, 2006
143Trip End Nov 15, 2007
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At 6am the Turkish army came to move us on. None of the 7 soldiers spoke English but we got the message loud and clear.
10 kilometers down the road we made our breakfast before braving the peak hour traffic into Istanbul. It was a squeeze of traffic coming into town. Feeder roads caused organized mayhem and we had to stand our ground and do a little nudging ourselves to get ahead. The taxi drivers were the worst. There were many small commuter busses taking men to work.
The Bosporus Sea goes between Istanbul so half of it is in Europe and half in Asia
It's a bit difficult for me to 'walk 2 paces behind Des', but I am trying to remember that this is a predominantly Muslim country and I should not be domineering. I am a woman and should know my place. But I am also a Western woman, used to taking charge. I think it's going to be even harder for me when we go to Iran.
Anyway, toll card purchased (by me) we drove the short distance into Kadikoy and fueled up with diesel at $2.53 AUD per liter.
We parked the campers in an 'otopark' and asked if we could stay there for 24 hours. No problem. That was easy. Off we went with the ferry for a day in Istanbul. It was hot and humid but we were excited to get into the Grand Bazaar. The lovely smell of spices and leather was a treat and the blue eyes of all sizes seemed to be watching us everywhere. I purchased a long skirt and veil for Iran and we had lunch in Julia's Kitchen
We had some difficulty with an ATM machine in that it made the transaction but did not dispense the cash. When you don't speak the local language, it's difficult to get any satisfaction in situations like this. What made us more upset was that the machine was already out of order when we put our card in and the bank staff were already working on the opened ATM at the back, when we made the transaction. A whole hour of our time could have been saved had they put an out of order sign on the ATM. We watched the staff take out about 8 plastic cards from the back of the machine, I would have been really narked if one of them was mine.
The Sophia Museum, which used to be a mosque but has now been made into a museum was huge, colourful and cool. It is still being restored in parts but it was lovely to walk around on the marble floor and rest for awhile on one of the marble pillars.