July 31, 2007

Day 147 :: Second Wind

Day 147 - Istanbul

Beloved Turkey, where have you been my whole life?

Okay, not quite, but that's how we felt upon arriving in İstanbul to a new world full of paved streets, clean air and modern structures. After five months in developing nations (and in light of our last post), you can imagıne our excitement. I think our second wind came precisely at the moment we entered our first public bathroom. It was void of flies, stocked with toilet paper, had a sink (with soap!) and the best part of all - the toilet was the kind that you can actually sit down on. I must have spent an hour in the there.

A few notes on Istanbul:

*We traveled through Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq to get to here. And by through I mean in reclining seats at 36,000 feet. And on the exit row I might add.

*We have walked seven miles a day over the past three days, which is around eighteen miles more than we walked in all of Indıa.

*Today we traveled by ferry across the Bosphorus Straight to visit the beautiful Princess Islands - the famous straight seperates Europe from Asıa. We were back in Europe by the evening.

*Istanbul is rather incredible. The Blue Mosque and Hagai Sofia were surprisingly more impressive than the Taj Mahal; the waterways, cobblestone streets and hills make Istanbul feel like a cross between Stockholm, San Francisco and Sydney. The people are absolutely wonderful - always helpful, kind and seemingly without alterior motives.

They say Turkey is the Gateway to the East, but for us it is a much welcomed Gateway to the West.


::athada:: said...

Make sure to take in some Turkish coffee, tea, and smoke a hookah.

From what my sis and bro-in-law tell me, Istanbul is a must-visit.

Gwen Jackson said...

Enjoy your new "western" surroundings. We're enjoying Bosnia . . . so close, but yet too far away!

Love you guys!

Matt said...

i loved turkey--one of my favorite places for sure.
(hint: do NOT go into any carpet shops if you can help it)
and try some baklava (sp?)...so good.

The Chinlund Family said...

So glad you received the breath of fresh air you needed! Turkey sounds beautiful! We miss you guys, glad to hear all is well again :)

pk said...

I second both of the things that matt said. I was nearly drugged with some apple tea in a carpet shop and somehow the baklava is just a million times better over there. I would spend ungodly amounts of Turkish lira on baklava.

amber said...

Hi guys! It's been a very long time since I posted a comment, sorry :( The pics are amazing! I hope someday I can travel to at least half the places you've been. You guys are amazing. Take care and keep up with the great photos!

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