Tuesday, 30 April 2013


MONDAY MORNING   from the balcony

beautiful tulips bought just up the road

MONDAY sandra and patrick and sunny and i took the ferry trip out to the Prince's Islands yesterday, last time i went we all sat on the upper deck amongst the wonderful big gulls that travel with the boat to eat the bread that passengers throw. 
so it was a bit of a shock to have the ferry arrive so loaded with passengers i couldn't see how we'd fit.  all the stairs to the upper deck had people sitting all over them with food and drinks (it's a 1 1/2 hour trip)  and every window was inaccessible, we stood all the
way.  it's still a great trip and we had a seafood lunch right on the water under 
umbrellas - istanbul fish is the best, so fresh and caught right here every day.

people on 

last night - after the ferry trip, 'istanbullu' cocktails on the balcony

this whacky cruise ship docked last night, it looks like a nautical 9/11

SUNDAY  -  sunny and i did the tour of the ultra ornate Dolmabahce Palace, it's a short walk from susan and sean's, down the hill on the bosphorus.   no photos, but i surreptitiously took lots, as did everyone else :0)

 the lovely pink plastic
foot covers that we
all wore on the tour.
couldn't hear a word
the tour guide said but
it didn't matter -
the place is just a
visual feast of
'over the topness' -
so much gold, trompe
l'oeul (?) crystal,
brocade, marble,
faux finishes that
descriptions and
details were
I cannot begin to describe the size of this chandelier, and then there was an even bigger one, the whole palace is like a museum of chandeliers and mirrors

beautiful detail on the
blinds in some of the
smaller quieter parts
of the palace

the palace

a magpie very much like the ones i saw in china, beautiful birds with a rich blue back

we took a sunset cruise to Kadakoy and back - a short trip but perfect for watching the sun go down behind the mosques and the galata bridge

ON THE WAY HOME - sunday night - we walked back up Istiklal after our sunset drinks and dinner - found creme brulee up in Taksim Square - how good is that?   and it was absolutely creamy and perfect - a pretty good end to the evening.

from the Londra Hotel rooftop - a sweet little church that has been
dwarfed by the buildings around it

susan in full flight with sunny and sean in the background, two very annoying girls in the foreground, we had to choose a table away from them because their conversation was loud and full of  'like' and comments like 'and like, he was really attracted to me. . .'  etc.

 AH the wonderful Londra
- so much to see on every floor :0)

istiklal is lit up like christmas all year round

 i love these 
cafes that have 
balconies and
everyone must
have the best
view of the
just look out
for that sign
near the door

these icecream sellers are hilarious, it takes a complete sideshow of tricks before you
get your cone - all sleight of hand, giving it to you - almost - taking it away, in so
many different ways it always attracts a crowd, very funny

Dolmabahce Palace from the bedroom window

Monday, 29 April 2013


AND I headed
off to the grand
bazaar and spent 
the morning there.
i bought some
lovely large
fabrics for the
wall, very happy
with them.

then we headed
down to ortakoy
for lunch and did
the bosphorus
ferry ride - 
it's fabulous

gorgeous italian palace

the ataturk bridge over the bosphorus,  always busy

on the way home we had to walk past the soccer stadium -
there was a match on so the food sellers were out in
force - these kofte stands always look really terrific

sunny got into the mood and bought a besiktas team scarf -
the place was absolutely pumping

 SUNSET DRINKS on the roof of the Londra - that monument to good taste -
it's a treasure of a place

Saturday, 27 April 2013


yesterday was a quiety,  after a full day on thursday, sandra and patrick came up here for dinner,we sat out on the balcony drinking wine and watching the ships till late and as a result, friday was  spent mostly horizontal watching episodes of Homeland, i'm totally hooked.

it's about 6.30 a.m now and we're heading off early to the grand bazaar, susans going to show us the turkmani, osbekistan section then if i'm feeling brave, i'll go off and try to find a turkish rug. 


ON THURSDAY sunny and i spent the morning at topkapi palace - melbourne friends sandra and patrick arrived a couple of days ago and we met them afterwards for lunch on the waterfront and then caught the finicular railway up to Istiklal, the fabulous shopping street.  took them through the pera palace and londra hotels, both big, old and filled with nostalgia, one elegant and grand, the other also grand but kitsch beyond belief.
there's a wonderful feeling of bittersweet and nostalgia in istanbul, the  turkish have a word for the feeling of melancholia that's a part of the city, must find out what it is.


Every wall surface at the palace is decorated - painted, tiled, inlaid with stone, gold leaf, its a huge series of elegant buildings right on the golden horn, so the terraces look out over the sea in all directions, absolutely beautiful

ah yes, the old photographing yourself in the mirror trick

in the harem,  the sultan's private bedchamber, fabulous domed ceiling

wonderful coloured glass, not leadlight, but somehow set in
with wood  fretwork, or maybe plaster

back on the bosphorus, lunch at Aphrodite's in Karakoy where the ferries come 
and go all day

patrick on istiklal

sunny took these zoom shots of one of the monster cruise ships that berth
down on the bosphorus

           they're like cities on the water,  thousands of people on board


the moon last night,  we were all sitting on the balcony on the clearest most beautiful balmy night we've had so far when suddenly a huge orange moon starting rising over the asian side.   i only got this one shot and my camera battery died  :0(