It’s been so long. Here’s quick update: 2 days in Istanbul, then 6 days in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, and returned to Istanbul 2 days ago so I could meet my friend Golda (aka Gina) when she arrived from California yesterday.
Reunion at Ataturk Airport went flawlessly- thank goodness since we had no cell phones nor a Plan B.
I am listening to NPR as I type this – internet is like the point of a magic arrow.
This return to Istanbul is so much easier than my over-stimulated initial encounter. I was exhausted – one can only do so much adaptation and information overload before internal chaos sets in. The 6 day trip to Bulgaria was perfect for settling down and settling in. Stayed in a gorgeous modern house that I had all to myself. Cooked a lot of fresh vegetables, ate eggs that tasted better than any egg I’ve ever eaten, got my exercise routine (back health prophylaxis) established.
Yesterday I visited the Grand Bazaar for the first time and initial impression was that I was in K-Mart. As I explored I realized it’s organized by category, and I must have entered into the Schlock Section (lots of imitation leather coats and knock-off Nike’s). I eventually discovered the gold and silver and antique weapons, etc.
Today, after I dropped Gina off for her New Year’s observation, I visited the Galeta Tower, then wandered across a bridge where locals were fishing in horribly polluted water – and from what I could see, catching nothing. Then I wandered into the Spice Bazaar – much more interesting to me than the Grand Bazaar, since it’s food oriented. Got a few samples and confirmed that I do NOT like Turkish Delight.
Now back at my pleasant hostel (double room complete with air conditioning) and next will try to upload photos. I’ll get this posted first, and then work on photo posting that will match my description above, at least the Istanbul portion.