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Trip to Turkey September 2004
Wednesday, September 22, 2004

This was our first late start.  The clothes we washed the night before were not dry. The sun had not hit them until 10:30am and the climate is cooler at the Black Sea and now the weather was turning colder.

dolmoosh at campground

By 2:00pm we had arrived in Istanbul and by 3:00pm we at the same hotel where we started, Sultan's Inn, our luggage upstairs, and this time we were in their best and largest room.

We phoned Sarah and arranged to get the seats back in the dolmoosh the next day and to return their mattress and press board.  We would meet up with Sarah and Sadi in the evening, but we had the rest of the afternoon to ourselves.  We showered, rested, walked around the neighborhood, and had dinner at the little Cesme (Cheshmay) restaurant.  The staff remembered us and asked us if we were living in (or moving to) Istanbul.  Somehow it did feel as if we had come "home" to Istanbul, but I was also feeling very homesick for Seattle, the land of western toilets, laundromats, Hollywood television, our own bed and cats, and saner vehicle drivers and driving rules.

shop on street in Istanbul old district

Sometime after dinner we walked to Asia Minor Carpets.  It was late, but in the back courtyard, Sarah, Sadi, the shop Owner, two actresses and one actor (who had earlier performed down the stairs in the ruins) were finishing a late dinner snack.  We enjoyed the conversation and company.  Some of the conversation was in Turkish, but they engaged us in English conversation enough for us to feel comfortable.  We had some grapes and wine.  We felt extremely honored to be welcomed so warmly by the shop owner again and invited to enjoy their company.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

We had a wonderful Turkish breakfast.  We walked to Asia Minor Carpets, met up with Sadi, returned the mattress and pressboard, got the seats screwed securely back in the dolmoosh.  It still took time but it was faster and easier than when we took the seats out.

Now Tom had a great idea.  We were originally supposed to return the dolmoosh Friday, but Tom didn't want to drive in the city of Istanbul again.  He called up the rental place and told them they could have it back today if they would pick it up.  They said they would.  We spent a few hours at the hotel waiting for the driver to show up, but after that, we had no more responsibilities until Saturday when we needed to get to the airport.

Later we met Sarah at Taksim Square and she took us to a gozleme restaurant (made with wheat like round soft tacos, two of them sandwiched with a filling).  Sarah must have a thing for upstairs restaurants with low ceilings....  Downstairs there was a large fire grill with stacks of wood.  We had a wonderful dinner.  Then Sarah led us to a hidden bar on the top floor of a building overlooking the Bosphorus.  We sat at the bar and had a magnificent view of the water and the lights.  This was the image of Istanbul that Tom had communicated to me before we left for Turkey in order to get me to agree to stay more days in Istanbul.  It was every bit as wonderful as he had described.  Thank you, Sarah, for taking us there.  I'm glad I didn't miss it.

Created:  November 15, 2004
Updated:  January 5, 2005
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