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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
Messages 1 2 3 

Re: Turkey by Spursfan on 13 February 2008 5:06pm
We go on Zak's birthday - 1st April.

Can't wait to see all our Turkish friends again but oh boy do we miss Tosun!!!

Here's a bit about Sirince. The unfortunate part is the road up to it - very scary if you hate heights!!! There are no sides to the road if you see what I mean, as it winds steeply up the mountain. We have been twice and each time I have said never again, but we will probably keep visiting.

Tourists (I don't really count myself as one now, and neither do our friends!!) go up in coaches !!! I don't know how they do it (coaches I mean). Scary!! The road just doesn't seem wide enough although the husband says that it is and it is just me being scared.


Re: Turkey by geordiegirl on 13 February 2008 7:51pm
You certainly know how to enjoy Turkey, Anne. Roll on April...
Re: Turkey by Spursfan on 13 February 2008 10:26pm
Thanks Linda, we try our best!

One strange thing that happened. One day when we were driving along through the countryside with a Turkish friend (Ali) I started to think of our Turkish friend Alattin who died (I put a post on here about it) and it made me feel sad. I lloked at the countryside going past the window and quietly thought about him. A few minutes later I needed to look up a word in the dictionary...and Alattin's business card fell out.

Re: Turkey by geordiegirl on 14 February 2008 3:17pm
Serendipity...I refuse to call it a 'sign'!
Sorry about your friend,Anne, if I didn't say this before. You will only have the best of memories of him.Probably you're still in touch with his family.
Re: Turkey by Spursfan on 14 February 2008 9:40pm
Sadly no - we only knew him. We never actually met his wife, though we saw pix of his little girl who was about 3 when he died.

Apparently the streets were lined with people for his funeral. Just goes to show how well liked/loved he was.

It all happened over a year ago (he accidentally shot himself) but it is still hard to believe it.
Re: Turkey by Spursfan on 29 February 2008 11:52am
We have been sorting out a visit to Istanbul with our Yorks friends (who haven't been before) as part of our trip to Turkey in May/June (though we have a visit in April first!). We've now booked the flights (Izmir - Istanbul), hotel & transfers, (4 nights) and sorted out an itinery.

Anyway, it got me thinking about Istanbul and a couple of things (out of the many!) that happened on trips there.

Firstly, we were shopping in the Grand Bazaar and I needed the loo, so I paid my money to the man sitting at the door (they hand you some paper but really it is not for what you think, it is to wipe your hands after you have washed...oh well you get the pic! I still blush as they hand it out though!) and went in. As I came out of the cubicle (there were about 4 I think) and went to wash my hands an elderly lady was just coming out of another cubicle, and she wore a full face thingy but it was made of leather straps! [I ought to say here that Istanbul has many foreign visitors, especially from the muslim world, as Topkapi Palace has many religious relics such as hairs from the beard of Mohammed, his footprint, etc.]. Just then, her (I assume) husband came in, in arab dress, and stood there watching her!!!! In the ladies!!! Well, I gave him a look that said 'sling yer hook mate this is the ladies!!' but he just stood there until she was finished washing her hands.

It was as though he didn't trust her, it was awful.

But of course I don't know the true story.

Another time I was again at Topkapi and we were walking throught the grounds before going to the Harem. A couple of ladies in yashmaks, probably from Saudi or somewhere, walked past. As they did so, I had brief eye contact with one of them, her beautiful eyes heavily rimmed with khol. I tried to portray through this eye contact my sympathy as a member of the sisterhood that she was forced to dress thus; she gave me a look of utter disgust as if I was a prostitute!

I have to say that I am older and wiser than I was at that encounter - I now know that [most] muslim women embrace the veil or whatever, and I know how they look upon women such as myself who go bareheaded etc.
Re: Turkey by geordiegirl on 29 February 2008 8:27pm
I can imagine what you mean, Anne. Even in my bit of London where there are many Muslims - I was at a windy bus stop with my skirt blowing around & anchored it with some difficulty: the headscarved lady next to me looked at me struggling and her own, trousered legs, rather meaningfully. I said blithely I dodn't like wearing trousers that much, don't think she was very impressed!

It's that kind of experience you describe which puts me off wanting to go to Istanbul (husband is quite keen. probably it shouldn't.
Re: Turkey by Spursfan on 29 February 2008 9:15pm
Oh please don't let it put you off, Linda!! It's a lovely, vibrant city - like nowhere else on earth!

Ok, there are downfalls - its busy (3 or 4 days are ample), and you have to watch out for opportunist thieves (as you would in any big city).

The high points are Topkapi Palace, which takes at least a day to go round, with its treasures (for example the Topkapi dagger), religious relics, harem etc; Sultanahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque); Aya Sofia; Suleymaniye Mosque (the one you see in pix of Istanbul); and the underground cisterns, which are lit and have music playing as you go round. And why not have a trip on the Bosphorus on a ferry?

The atmosphere is wonderful.

We spent our 25th anniversary in the Pera Palas hotel (as visited by MP in Pole to Pole). It oozes old world elegance. You can also visit it as a non-resident and they will happily show you round. Kings, Queens, Agatha Christie and Ataturk stayed there. They will allow you to look at the rooms the latter two stayed in as they are now museums. (When we were visiting as non-residents we were about to take a photo out of the window on one of the floors and we were stopped, as we were looking over the American Embassy!! That was the only time they said anything like that, and it was because of the Embassy, not them).

How about taking a short break there for an anniversary or birthday? You would love it, Linda I am sure. The above events didn't put me off - and most 'Istanbulers' are cosmopolitan sophisticats!

Omigod I sound like one of these travel channels, don't I hahaha!

But I mean it!!


And I forgot buying lunch from a boat bobbing up and down - a freshly caught and fried piece of fish (mullet?) between two pieces of bread, salt if you want it hanging in a container from the quay. Delish.
Re: Turkey by Lounge Trekker on 1 March 2008 9:49am
I just used a Product of Turkey. Grape leaves. I didn't think I'd purchased anything from Turkey, but I've used the same brand periodically for years.

I tried my own preserved grape leaves but I didn't use enough citric acid and the colour faded, and they were a little soft. They did taste good. The leaves were so large, I had to try canning them. I'll do it again if I think of it.

Agean Trekker
Re: Turkey by Spursfan on 1 March 2008 11:26am
I know you are an excellent cook, LT, and if I am ever in Canada visiting relatives I will try to wangle myself a Trekker dinner invite (!!) so I hope you are not offended that I have pasted you a Turkish vine leaf recipe?



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