People who live in glass houses.

Istanbul Travel Blog

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A ship passing by our living room.
We landed in Istanbul at 4:30pm after another flight on dreaded Turkish Air. TA has earned the status of being our least favorite airline thus far. They have the smallest seats and the most inefficient systems. When we arrived at Gaziantep airport, their computer was down and there were several impatient people waiting to buy tickets. It took over an hour to fix, so it was a good thing we were early for our flight, since I had to make a change to our tickets at the sales office before we could check in.

So, anyway, back to Istanbul. I handed the airport taxi driver a paper with the handwritten address to the apartment we are renting and held my breath.
Enjoying the great outdoors.
I was so worried the cabbies would all say, “I have no idea where this is!” But he nodded and we were off. As we got closer to the city I could see dozens of slender minarets reaching into the sky. Turkey is proud of its flag and many of them -- huge ones -- were flying in the hills. It’s a really nice flag -- bold red, graphical, strong. I was almost jumping out of my seat in excitement…I am so happy to be in Istanbul!

Our driver found our apartment with no problem. It is in the northern Rimali Harsari neighborhood (named after the castle just down the street), right under the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge. This is well outside the action of Sultanahmet (Old City), but I fell in love with this short-term rental apartment on VRBO.
But the cupboard is bare...
com, so here we are.

And am I ever glad we are! The building itself was a little dodgy looking from the outside, and the elevator is a little scary (old -- no inner door), but the apartment itself is fantastic. Two walls are constructed entirely of glass -- all the better to see the incredible views of the Bosphorus Straight, the body of water that divides Asia from Europe. So, we are over here in Europe, with a view of Asia. Pretty cool! And incredibly beautiful, too. We may never leave the apartment with a view like this.

There is also a huge outdoor living space, furnished with a sofa, two big chairs, a dining table, and a huge jacuzzi. Inside, the apartment is all modern and sleek, but the furniture is comfortable despite all the straight lines. I am thrilled to have a kitchen, since eating out really gets old after awhile.
See the little fish on the line? That's the CATCH, not the bait!!
The best part of course is the washing machine. Whoo-hoo! We have been hand washing since mid-May. 

So we got settled in (threw our clothes and stuff all about, and making a complete mess of the place), cooked up some pasta we found in the cupboard, and then went off to find food and drink for the long haul (we will be here 10 days). We headed south, walking along the waterfront.

On our left was the dark blue Bosphorus, very busy with ship traffic. The early evening light was hitting the buildings across the water just right, and everything had a warm golden hue to it. Beautiful. The street to our right was lined with atmospheric restaurants and cute cafes facing the water. On the paved waterfront, dozens of people (men, women and children) were wielding huge fishing poles. At first I thought the lines of little fish on their poles were bait, but Steve pointed out that they were removing the little fish from the line … so they were using these enormous poles to catch 2-inch fish!  We saw vendors cooking up the little fish, heads and all, and groups of men were gobbling them down.
Dusk.
It looked like a smelt fry at home (in Minnesota)! Funny. 

We walked through this area, past the crenellated castle (we will go inside later) and into a harbor area filled with yachts. But we didn’t find a grocery store in all of this.  We headed back, our empty canvas bag flapping sadly. Back to our glass house. Tomorrow we will have to figure out our neighborhood.     



cmgervais says:
No visa required, come on over!
Posted on: Jul 14, 2008
abuglio says:
Wow, time to start the Istanbul Catalog Group. I'll apply for a visa today.
Posted on: Jul 14, 2008
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A ship passing by our living room.
A ship passing by our living room.
Enjoying the great outdoors.
Enjoying the great outdoors.
But the cupboard is bare...
But the cupboard is bare...
See the little fish on the line? T…
See the little fish on the line? …
Dusk.
Dusk.
The best thing about our new place.
The best thing about our new place.
A telescope. We can spy on the nei…
A telescope. We can spy on the ne…
We live under that bridge.
We live under that bridge.
Waterfront restaurant.
Waterfront restaurant.
Thats Asia over there.
That's Asia over there.
Istanbul
photo by: Memo