My 14-year-old grandson, Owen, accompanied me on this 16 day trip to Turkey. We left his house with two bags each and a heartfelt goodbye to family.
Fourteen year olds don’t yet know everything, and they are still interested in keeping company with grandma. Maybe. Hopefully we have learned something about each other on this trip.
San Francisco’s United Airlines provided us with an hour-long snafu and I only mention that because a travel mate, Mike, informed me of the origination of that word. It was a common military acronym that stood for Situation Normal All F. U. You can guess the last two words since the San Francisco Chronicle, one of the most liberal papers in the U.S., has a very rigid censor. Mike also taught me an extension of that acronym that came out of the Viet Nam military era, called F.U.bar. _ _beyond all reason. A marvelous exhibit of Belgian lace borrowed from a museum in nearby Sunnyvale, made up for the snafu, but I will never use that word again without a secret chuckle.
Our guide, Usla, pronounced Oulash picked us up at the airport and pointed out the famous Blue Mosque…
…ancient walls of the “old city” and sights we will visit in Istanbul.
My eye was drawn to modern, renovated buildings like this hotel, sidewalk cafes on cobble streets amid older buildings of wood.
Hotel Armada Ahirkapi, on Street 24 Sultanahmet was hosting a wedding and the wedding guests were eating canapes and drinking champagne when we arrived late afternoon the 19th of April.
A woman in a stunning strapless gown? This is a Moslem country and we are prepared to keep shoulders covered at all times, no shorts, hair covered in Mosques. Hmm!
Another strapless gown. Notice her tattoo.
Young wedding guests with short skirts.
I couldn’t understand the ceremony, but it was fun watching all the excited faces and a panoply of ages enjoying this special time.
What a fascinating wrinkle to my expectations. This is modern Istanbul. A city of a thousand years, in its current transition. I’m trembling with excitement as Owen and I head out for dinner on our own. Usla pointed out a few restaurants right around the hotel.
We chose Cankurtaran Ogretmenevi. It has trees growing through the floor and ceiling.
I wasn’t very hungry but Owen slept through dinner on the airplane and he ordered Chicken Shish.
It came with a basket of bread, bottled water and seasoned olive oil to dip it in. I had a bowl of wonderful lentil soup and a huge bowl of yoghurt. I gave $12 since I had no Turkish Lira, yet. And they tried to give me change. Ahh, the surprises that await us.