We start this journey (Melbourne to Istanbul) fresh as daisies. And end it 30 hours later with me begging for a bath. Or a shower. Or a bucket of cold water to be thrown on my whilst fully dressed, so at least I can get the fugue of travel off me.
We run the gamut of experiences along the way, from a truly first class flight (difficult to explain and involves a combination of friends in high places, E’s birthday and just generally winning the lottery) to a cattle class flight in a plane with no entertainment, surly attendants and a toilet door that won’t lock.
But we make it, and we’re greeted by the soon to become ubiquitous handsome Turkish man offering smiles and brandishing refreshments. And a key to a very small but very gratefully accepted hotel room in Sultanhamet.
And then, post the much pleaded for watering down, and with about 7 hours of sleep out of the last 48 hours under our respectively fetching belts, we’re off to sightsee. Yes. Really. We went straight out and did stuff. Because E is a seasoned traveller, and I’m nuts. And generally that means there’s no one with their foot on the brake.
Topkapi Palace was just the right introduction to Istanbul. The melting pot of cultural history is fused together to make a stunningly beautiful palace. Asian, Greek, Egyptian… I’m sure I’ve forgotten others, but all that time and culture folded in on itself over hundreds of years creates something truly alluring.
Plus there was a harem. I love a good harem!
Pictures don’t do the beauty of this place any justice. But have at ’em regardless.