On the brighter days I was able to take some colour images, they give a flavour of the beautiful tiles that are all over the mosques inside and out.
I met my sister on Friday night for a quick bite to eat, which turned into a rather prolonged drinking session. She has found a lovely quiet wine bar that is attached to a hotel close to where she works, so it is not as frenetic as our usual haunt.
Ironically she too is visiting Istanbul, but in a professional capacity. This means visiting the port on the Asian side, so no luxury there and too far away to do much site seeing. Like many people who travel a lot for a living, pleasures are few and far between, it must be hard to be so close to something beautiful, but not have the time to see it.
I think she found mother a struggle on holiday , although I can see two sides to this story,
My sister has forgotten that my mother is a) getting on b) partially blind c) will do absolutely nothing independently of others.
My mother on the other hand has forgotten that my sister is a) pig headed b) suffers no hesitation c) likes her own space
What really upset my sister was my mothers refusal to visit the special shops in Hong Kong where all the designer stuff is kept, so my sister returned home empty handed and irritated.
I amused her with my New Years story. which goes as follows;
Emin had decided on a traditional Turkish New Year 'do' I thought this was to be a dinner dance and dressed accordingly. Not so, this transpired to be a shack clinging to the side of a mountain, 20 miles outside of Istanbul, it had snowed heavily and so the place was freezing cold, the tables were crammed together, the food was as cold as the room and the entertainment began at 10pm and did not finish until 4am.
We were told to be at the Au pairs house for 5pm, we did not leave our hotel until then, we had to get a tram, then walk up a long hill to get on a bus, this went at a snails pace until we got off, we then waited 15 Min's for a lift, finally arriving at the Au pairs at 7.30pm. I still had to get changed, finally we left at 8pm. 11 of us piled into a large van with no seat belts. I could have wept, I was sick with worry, I am normally so scornful of people who die in car crashes because they had over filled the car or they were not strapped in. Here I was doing both. Being in a van meant we had to cross over to the Asian side on a bridge further up. The traffic was barely moving, the bridge was a toll bridge and so where there were 4 lanes we already had 6 and then for each toll booth 3 lanes tried to jostle through one small gap. Two and a half hours later we finally arrived.
I then sat with fixed grin as all around danced and partied. They knew the songs they manged to dance on a square of floor no bigger than a postage stamp, and they all without exception chain smoked.
At midnight we lit a sparkler. This bit amused my sister no end having watched Fireworks in Sydney harbour. We arrived back to our hotel at 5.30am grabbed some sleep before flying home. At this point I must praise BA who were just brilliant, they plied me with delicious Sauvignion Blanc twice, they left on time and landed on time, and smiled a lot.
I have been on the wagon since...Until last Friday!