Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Where West Meets East

Nothing seems more emblematic of where we are than waking up hearing the "Call to Prayer" chanted on loudspeakers outside our hotel. That was a few minutes ago, outside the lovely room where we are in Istanbul. still pinching myself to believe we are really here!

We met our travel mates at the Frankfurt airport, after saying a sad goodbye to Connie & Franz, the best of hosts! The flight here was fast, only about 3 hours, and pretty uneventful. One scene will live in my memory bank of "worst-ever" flight stories. A young French couple, perhaps honeymooners, were stuck in a row across from the bathroom with a young man who was obviously studying plastic surgery on his huge laptop. Sprawled across the screen while I waited in line was a bigger than life color video of a nose surgery, with scalpel pulling apart the nostrils, peeling back the flesh to expose the bone, blood oozing out, eeewww! The screen was turned towards the aisle to avoid glare from the window, and the poor young couple obviously had been subjected to this view for hours, since the wanna-be plastic surgeon had the window seat. Grizzly.
Our wonderful guide, Erol, gathered us up at the airport, loaded us into a comfortable van, and brought us to our hotel just inside the walls of the old city of Istanbul, riding along the seacoast of the Sea of Marmara - stunning. He will be an excellent guide. He is smart, knowledgeable, fun, helpful, and has a terrific gift of gab. Last night he took us for a stroll up the hill to the beautiful central plaza, just outside the Hagia Sofia, and the Blue Mosque. The evening light showed off these buildings in exquisite color. The streets were quiet and friendly. We went for "a bite" to eat (translation: a feast) at a place called The Pudding Restaurant, or something similar. Food was good, laughter too. Daniella got talked into ordering a dessert called "chicken pudding". It was white, gummy, and made of chicken, mashed potatoes, sugar, mint, and ??? We all tasted it, and it was the subject of much hilarity.Stay tuned. Today should be a dazzler!

-- Post From My iPad

Location:Ahırkapı Sk,Istanbul Province,Turkey

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