Good morning, all.
It it 8am on Thursday morning and i am at the hotel, using their computer while they set up another delicious breakfast. I really am very happy with this place. It is delightful and everyone here is so nice.
Ok, so when i last wrote i was heading off in search of food and nargile. I found both. I had dinner by myself but then moved to a different place (one i had been to before or my favorite little street) for smoking. I immediately sat with a group of 3 South Africans (living in London); a woman, her husband and his brother, all about my age. We had a grand time and spent about 4 hours there just hanging out. We then went to a rooftop patio on top of a hostel. It had the most delightful breeze (probably a good view as well, but it was dark). It was terrific. We then went for a bit of a walk before i returned home at 1am.
The next morning i went to Topkapi Palace, which is a palace, but definitely a Turkish one; not at all like the European ones, except that it was lavish. The best part of the Harem, which was decadently decorated. The only downside was that it was a bit crowded with annoying tour groups, although there were far less that at Versailles.
I then enjoyed a coffee in an attempt to wake up, but it didn't work, so i went "home" for a nap instead. In the afternoon i walked across the Galata Bridge to the North shore of Istanbul which is quite hilly. I went up the Galate Tower, a medieval structure which afforded excellent views of the city, but wasn't really worth the 10 Lira charge. I meandered my way over to the Istanbul Modern Art Museum (hey, the acronym for that is "imam". Weird.). I really enjoyed the museum. It is a new institution and is indeed quite modern. I must admit, however that the installation piece by European artists were on the whole better than the paintings by Turkish artists, but even those had their merits. There was this amazing installation called "False Ceiling" which was all done with books, which i loved.
|tiles in the Harem room in Topkapi Palace|
|band outside Topkapi Palace|
I made the long walk bank to Sultanahmet (the area where i am staying), stopping for baklava on the way). I had dinner and smoked the nargile for about 4 hours, by myself this time.
Today i plan to take a cruise on the ferry up the Bosphorous.
Oh, yesterday when i was sitting outside enjoying my coffee something fell from the sky and nearly hit me. What was it? A chicken's head! I gasped in horror. The waiter removed it for me, chuckling at my disgust. I assume it was either a cat or a bird that dropped it and that it was not some sort of weather phenomenon, but it was disturbing nevertheless.
One more thing, if you plan on coming to Istanbul and you smoke cigars, bring them with you. I ran out and i can't find so much as a cigarillo here.