Sunday, August 29, 2010

Istanbul, Turkey

Out trip to Istanbul was something quite extraordinary. I had no idea what to expect. Istanbul was one of two cities labeled with the title 'City of Culture' this year. To enter this country, most nationals have to have a visa...and it's not free. It cost me 50 Euros for a sticker in my passport and five minutes of questioning at immigration. They were shocked that a Canadian would visit Istanbul and they carefully examined my passport photo. Even having another colleague see my photo. He noticed I had long hair...what an observation. And in my photo (which was taken in 2006) I had shorter hair and looked a bit younger. 10 points for spotting that. I made sure I got my stamp. Otherwise it could be a serious haggle (and even a crime) upon departure. We soon enter the taxi area and it is HOT and we are soon escorted into a taxi and the man who kindly pointed us to our taxi asked for money for his hard work. We soon arrive to our apartment and we are speechless. It is incredible. The flat is owned by an architect and her brother manages the rentals. She has an office on the main floor where we were invited for a coffee. She was very talented. You could tell she paid a lot of attention to detail; from the walls to the furniture. It was carefully thought out. But one thing that puzzled me was that the washroom in our flat had no walls. Well there was something...clear glass. How romantic to see your loved one taking a dump while you read a book on the luxurious bed with egyptian cotton sheets. Priceless. The picture here is the view from our flat. Absolutely beautiful. 

I took this photo because I had a friend who was completely obsessed with woman in boots. I guess we all have our fetishes.
Looking down from our flat. The terrace you see is the one belonging to the architect studio downstairs where we had our coffee. 
Another view from our apartment. 
The other side of our apartment. Traffic jam! Also the reason why I was late getting to the airport at the end of our trip.  My driver knew how to talk his way and convince the truck behind us to move. 

The historic tram. 

The city center...5 minutes from our flat. This street is lined up with embassies and consulates and of course tons of shops and cafes. 

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