Yep, you read that right. Day 247 of our trip around the world revolved around going to see Iron Man 2 in the theater. Andrew is a huge cinephile. We used to go see a movie in the theater at least once every two weeks, sometimes once a week if we had time in South Korea. He loves it. I love the popcorn. (It’s a win win!) He’s been itching to see a movie in the theater for awhile. (The last time we saw a movie in the theater was in India.) We were supposed to in South Africa, but it never worked out. Juliet had the afternoon off, so off we went to spend a day at the movies in Turkey. Today’s video is of the walk back from the bus stop along the Bosphorus, past the fish market and along the street leading up to Juliet and Daniel’s house. And below, is an image of the crazy amount of jellyfish in the Bosphorus.
The driving force getting me through the Archeology Museum was that afterwards I was going straight to a turkish bath: The Çemberlitas Hamam. Ok, ok, the archeology museum wasn’t all that bad. The sculptures that we saw were pretty incredible, especially the detailed reliefs on the tombs that were unearthed oh so long ago. There were also some really great explanations about the history of not only the Hagia Sophia, but Constantine’s reign and more. Many rooms were closed due to what looked like reorganization, but it was still interesting to walk through and there was more tile work to envy, which of course made me almost as happy as getting scrubbed by a scantily clad Turkish woman in the bathhouse.
We tried to go into the Basilica Cistern yesterday, but the line was outrageous. It wasn’t as bad this morning, but it wasn’t great either. Andrew opted out, not wanting to deal with the tourists inside. It was still crowded, but the Basilica Cistern was a lot bigger than I expected it to be and I spent more time inside than I thought I would. Picking up Andrew on our way out we made our way to Topkapi Palace. Again, we were face to face with big crowds and long lines, but we tried to make the best of the beautiful palace and kept… looking up in awe at the domed ceilings and intricate tile work throughout the palace.
We started at The Hippodrome, then arrived at the Blue Mosque (also known as Sultan Ahmed Mosque) promptly when it was closed for prayer time. Which in turn, prompted Andrew and I to have a brief exchange over whether or not I could get in without a scarf on over my head. It went something like this:
me: Women are holding scarves. It’s a mosque! I need a scarf! (I meant to bring one, and of course, forgot before we left)
Andrew: None of them are wearing their scarves though. You’re ok. Just go in.
me: Ohhh so just because all of the other naive tourists are doing it, so should I? NO! I’m not going to be disrespectful!
Andrew: So… you want to buy a scarf?
me: Well, if I want to go inside… I guess I need to go buy a scarf…
Andrew was resigned to the fact that he couldn’t go inside in his shorts. They weren’t exactly selling men’s shorts around the hippodrome like they were selling women’s scarves… So I got a scarf, and we went back. It was still closed.
me: Well, now what are we going to do?!
Andrew: The Ayasofya.
After a lazy morning, and discovering Andrew’s bag still was lost, Andrew and I made our way downtown to the Spice Market and Grand Bazaar.
Again, we called Havas in the morning to ask about our bags. We were told the driver came to our door the night before, but no one was home. We clarified that four people were home after nine o’clock, plus two dogs, both of which bark (a lot) at strangers. They told us our bags were on their way. We asked how many bags. We were told two. We were told to wait until 1 or maybe 2 for them to be delivered.
Only one arrived.
Unfortunately, it was mine. Andrew was going on day five in the same clothes. When Andrew called back (again) about his bag, he was told his missing bag was not on file. He was holding his copy of the missing bag report. He was told to email it to them. Going a bit stir-crazy, we decided to get out and make the most of our third day in Istanbul. We headed to Taksim Square and walked down the infamous Istiklal Street.
Thanks, Havas Ground Handling Company for being the absolute worst company in the world. Ok, maybe that’s harsh, but we spent the entire day hanging out at Juliet and Daniel’s apartment waiting for our bags.
They did not arrive.
Instead of posting a video of how annoyed we were at Havas, I put a video and pictures up of the back streets between Taksim and Istiklal. We were here another day and I had so much fun walking around (especially after it was practically forbidden in South Africa) that I took more than enough video and pictures for one day! Enjoy!
Tear gas, again? It’s May Day in Istanbul! Protests abound! A closed metro system. Questioning in the streets. Juliet didn’t feel comfortable going in town. I didn’t feel comfortable putting anyone in danger. Myself, not a problem. But Andrew tends to worry… so we took the dogs for a walk down by the Bosphorus and then went to the mall to get a few new clothes instead. Along the way, we noticed a few posters like this one plastered up all over town:
Four different airports and three flights over the span of twenty-four hours sounds like a chore, but after some of our epic bus rides through Africa, it really didn’t feel so bad. Our flights were rather uneventful. I wish I could say the same for the airports, but they were all a bit of a hassle.
Things I wanted to do in Cape Town but could not justify going even more over budget than I already am included repelling off of Table Mountain, cage diving with sharks, and eating at famous (some fancy) restaurants. Instead of spending a ridiculous amount of money doing one of those things on our last afternoon in Cape Town, we climbed Lion’s Head for free. Repelling and cage diving will simply have to wait until next time.