Rain Rain, Go Away
Istanbul Travel Blog› entry 8 of 10 › view all entries
Originally posted Thursday, March 16, 2006 on MySpace
Since I stayed in yesterday, I made it a point to go out today (even though I woke up at 1:30-ish this morning. I have decided to just stay in Istanbul. I've had plenty of "excitement" as it is without something going wrong taking a train, either to Sofia or back to London. If I had thought of it a few days earlier, I would have gone back to London, I think. At this point I want to be sure I am in London to catch my flight back to the States. I am so ready to go back to the States. Although, I would have been pretty happy with getting back to London a few days earlier. Even Italy, France or Spain would be good..... At least I have somewhat of an understanding of the languages. It's getting old to not be able to communicate even slightly effectively.
Today I went out, and it was a slight sprinkle. My original plan for the day was to go on the Bosphorus Ferry Cruise. However, I changed my mind since I woke up so early. My new plan was to go to the Museum of Calligraphy. After that, I was planning to go to the Sleymaniye Mosque that wasn't too far off, depending on if I was tired or not. Notice I said "plan" and "planning". I never got to either. I had studied the map to ensure I'd find my way. Unfortunately, there was a road block preventing pedestrian travel. I turned down a side street thinking I'd go down it, and find my way back to the main road. Instead, I got lost.
The more lost I realised I was becoming, the hard the rain seemed to come down. Granted, the rain did in fact become heavy, but just that much more since I didn't know where the hell I was, nor what direction I was going. I eventually found my way along the Grand Bazaar (not in) as I figured for sure I'd really get myself lost. At one point though, I found myself within the bazaar, and went with it because it was shelter from the rain.
As I walked around, looking at the signs to find "the" exit (I can't remember the name of the street I was looking for, but I'd recognise it). I never saw that street name, but found the arrows leading to the Beyazit exit. I knew from the map that the Museum of Calligraphy was within the Beyazit Square, so I went toward that exit. Just within yards of the exit there was a store that was selling Turkish delight, and other packaged goods. I bought two boxes of Turkish delight and one of apple tea. I'm not the biggest fan of tea, but I have found that apple tea is okay (although coffee is still much better, in my opinion).
I exit from the Grand Bazaar, trying to gain an idea of where I was.... it was a familiar place. I realised it was in fact Beyzait Square and that I was looking right at the archway of Istanbul University. At the same moment of the recognition, my right foot found a gap in the cobblestone, a puddle, and I fell down. Thus, I twisted my right ankle and I have a good sized bruise on my left knee. I also had minor abrasions on my hands. Thankfully, there were no predatory males, carpet sellers or otherwise, lurking to "rescue" me. I got up, looking for the museum.
I walked around the square without luck. There were police, and I thought about asking them to point the way. I decided that I just wanted to go back to the hotel. My feet were soaked. I kept stepping on my skirt. The pants I was wearing underneath my skirt had soaked up a great deal of water from various puddles. My hands were dirty. You get the picture.... I was a mess. I did recognise where I was, and I thought that was a good thing. Generally speaking, when I go somewhere once, I can find my way back. Thus, I tried to back track through the Book Bazaar into the Grand Bazaar with the idea I'd find the main road that would lead me back to Sultanahmet, the Blue Mosque, ultimately the hotel. I was wrong. I found my way back to Beyazit Square, twice. I briefly thought about going to Sleymaniye Mosque during my wanderings. I figured they wouldn't allow a drowned rat with dirty, rained soaked socks and pants into the mosque. So after wandering around the square some more, giving up the idea I'd find my way back to the hotel on my own, I hailed a taxi. If I wasn't the dirty, wet mess that I was, I would have continued by foot. However, my current state and the fact the rain would not freakin' stop, I threw in the towel. At least the taxi driver knew where to go. A 45 minute cab ride (traffic is pretty bad here) and 12 lira later, I was back at the hotel. Yay!
I showered, rinsed my socks, skirt, pants and shoes. I also washed up the sleeves of my shirt. Naturally, I had been wearing a white shirt and the sleeves were soiled from my fall. Afterwards, I grabbed one of the magazines I brought, read until I fell asleep (not before I set my alarm to go off at 5pm). When I awoke. I pulled myself together and went to dinner at the Chinese-Korean place next door. I had wanton soup, spring rolls and chicken fried rice. Fabulous, even though it was that weird chili sauce that tastes more like ketchup they provided to dip the spring rolls. I'm used to sweet 'n sour.
I think I need to go lie down. My ankle feels as though its a little puffy again. If the weather doesn't completely suck tomorrow (which there doesn't seem to be a chance for rain, but I expect rain anyway), I might try the Bosphorus Ferry Cruise.