Istanbul & Home

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Above:  I sat on the sloping footpath sketching our hotel whilst waiting to leave for the airport, I was so engrossed I didn't notice till I stood up a trickle of dirty water had flowed down the street stopping to be absorbed on my rump.  There was a quick flurry with the hair dryer before dashing out to the airport shuttle.


As I sketched the tower a man came across the street with a little table and a glass of Turkish tea and gestured it was a gift from him.  We experienced a lot of little kindnesses throughout our trip.

The ever transported bread, sometimes in wheel barrows and even tightly stacked on a dirty open tray of a truck

Below: a sampling of the Egyptian Spice Market - near the Grand Bazaar

Highlight                     Balloon trip

Impressions                Hot, sketchable, friendly, safe, lots of variety - bazaars, ruins, markets, turquoise seas

Tips                           Take a universal plug (for basins) 

                                  Take European style twin cylindrical pronged power plug adaptor

                                  At internet cafes, remember the Turkish keyboard has our letter 'i' in diff place to ours

                                  (there is an 'i' without the dot, in the usual place - can play havoc with email addresses)

                                  Changing money at the airport is as reasonable as anywhere

                                  Put toilet paper in the bin next to the toilet  to be kind to the plumbing

                                  Watch out when you turn on the tap by the toilet - a jet shoots between the buttocks!

                                  Be prepared for call to prayer outside your hotel bedroom every day

                                  Brace yourself for lots of apple tea (like sweet cordial), turkish coffee (holds your spoon up)

                                  Don't take your cell phone, passport in your top pocket into the train's squat toilet


What was the tour?       Imaginative Traveller - Jewels of Turkey

Costs                          Same as New Zealand  (except petrol at twice the price)

Recommend Turkey?    You bet.


For the sketching enthusiasts among you - there is a small hardback book by Christopher Lambert who hiked for three months from Le Havre to Rome, sketching as he went.  I took his book with me to Turkey for inspiration.  I even bought a fine brown pen from the back streets of Istanbul to try the effect.

For more of Scott's sketches check out the New Plymouth sketching group he belongs to THE TARANAKI SKETCHERS
Or see a similar sketching tour of Vietnam