A Travellerspoint blog

Turkey

Stoned in Istanbul

Italy and Mediterranean Cruise

April 2011

Hello all!

We have just set sail from Istanbul for 2 full days at sea. We are beat so sleeping in tomorrow will be appreciated.

So Mother of the Year, thaIMGP6062.jpgIMGP6066.jpgIMGP6072.jpgIMGP6074.jpgt would be me, in case you didn't know.....made a wee boo boo today! Isaac woke up with a bit of a head cold and not long after we were out he was complaining of a stuffy nose. I decided to give him some Advil cold and sinus. About 2 hours later he was so miserable and said he just needed sleep and couldn't stay awake. I thought I would have to bring him back to the ship but he wanted to push on. I finally thought I should give him some more medicine. When I took it out I looked to make sure it was non-drowsy only to discover it was actually nighttime formula to help sleep!!!! Poor Isaac, he was completely stewed and I was guilt-ridden. Anyway, I got him his favorite, apple tea, and he pepped up and I think he had a good day. He swears he isn't mad at me. He did ask "Mom, what would have happened if that was ecstasy pills instead of cold medicine?" to which I replied, "I don't usually keep my ecstasy in my purse!"

When we got back to the ship Isaac literally went face down, coat and sneakers on, and slept for an hour. In my defense, I did give him the appropriate dose, just at the wrong time of day.
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Ok...now that my confession is over...I'll tell you about our day. We left early and took a taxi to the Blue Mosque. It was neat because the kids got to see people praying and people outside washing for prayers.

From there we went to the Grand Bazaar, 4000 covered stalls and lots of carpets. We had kebabs for lunch and later some Turkish sweets (nougat, my favourite). Next we went to the spice market. It was all very mesmerizing but I just loved it. Isaac swears he did too but we can't be sure if he was really there as he did walk into a phone booth. I feel soooooo bad.

Tonight there was finally a show Isaac wanted to see. Comedy and music and it was great. He really enjoyed it.

Off to bed. I am sure the next couple of days will be less eventful but I'll check in. I have come to realize that we have cell coverage on the ship. It's an American satellite but most times I pick up the signal from the shore.

Shelley and Isaac

Posted by curlygirl 18:24 Archived in Turkey Tagged cruise turkey istanbul mediterranean Comments (0)

Istanbul not Constantinople

Italy and Mediterranean Cruise

I bet I have that spelled wrong!

So we are currently in Istanbul, Turkey....one of my favorite cities...happy to be back!

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We were at sea all day yesterday and were super lazy. I did guilt myself in to 40 mins of cardio in the gym...for what that's worth! LOL! The weather sucks. We had high winds and 12 degrees so it was impossible to go outside. That meant no shuffleboard or inline skating much to the chagrin of the kids. Really nothing to do on board if the weather is bad. Isaac and I played "Where in the World R U" trivia and got 8 outta 12 (got the USA ones wrong. Did you know it is illegal to look at a moose out an airplane window, or any other flying machine in Alaska? Us neither) but otherwise, it was homework, me reading and Isaac spent a bit of time in the arcade. It was ok not to be racing for a day! I guess if we had been heading for Egypt the weather would have been better. Oh well. Better to be cold in the Mediterranean than in NL.

Still cold today. We docked in Istanbul at 7 am but it was 9:30 am by the time we got off the ship. We jumped in a cab that fits 5 "no problem lady", as long as Ellen sat on someone's lap. We started our day at the Topkapi Palace. The sultan's palace and his harem...this was nice but soooo crowded! When I was here 15 years ago, there were no tourists!

Lunch time!!! We found a restaurant that sat us on the floor and made Turkish pancakes with feta. Mmmm. Isaac also had a type of Turkish kebab that he described as "the best". Everything is the best for Isaac! During lunch I decided that I was gonna get rid of all my furniture and just have rugs and cushions....so comfy. Plan was dismantled after watching Isaac getting up from the table....pretty sure I wasn't that graceful either.

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From there we went to Aya Sophia which is even more beautiful than I remembered. This mosque began as a Byzantine church, then a Catholic church before being taken over by the Turks. The very progressive former president of Turkey, and hero, Ataturk, saw the beauty and history in this church and had it turned into a museum. The architecture is remarkable but even more remarkable is the Christian frescoes and mosaics that have been uncovered (plastered over and painted by the Turks as no images are allowed in Islam) and sit side by side with the Islamic symbology and writings on the walls. The church shows the beauty of its Christian times in harmony with the Islamic times. We hired a private guide here for about $20 and he was fabulous! We teamed up with a few others including a travel agent who has me sorted out for future travels.

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By this time the kids were exhausted! We decided to go back to the ship and get them in bed early. We have another full day here in Istanbul and have lots planned. Early rise to make sure we have time for the market!!

So Ellen definitely has "glutton" figured out now. Tonight I laid my unfinished dessert next to Isaac. As he eyed it, I warned him he had had enough! The waiter thought I was mean...brought him one of his own and, as I resisted, he took a spoonful while the assistant waiter held a napkin under Izak's chin (that's what they call him) and shovelled it into his mouth. Isaac was laughing hysterically....not pretty...but funny. They call Ellen, Helena. They both love their new names.

Anyway...must get some zzzzs. I think I am the only one still awake and I am the one insisting we start early!

Happy Easter!
Shelley and Izak

Posted by curlygirl 18:22 Archived in Turkey Tagged cruise turkey istanbul mediterranean Comments (0)

Loving Kusadasi, Turkey and Lamb

Italy and Mediterranean Cruise

April 2011

We had a wonderful day in Kusadasi and unlike yesterday our tour was excellent. Because we didn't choose to visit the very popular site of Ephesus, we only had about 12 people on our tour which was great and our guide was excellent.

Our tour took us to 2 small villages in the mountains and to lunch at a small restaurant cooked by the locals. I think the Gabriels realized very quickly why I absolutely loved Turkey and still feel it was one of my favorite travel destinations.

At the first village we just walked around and shopped for dried fruit, nuts and local handicrafts. The funniest part, and Isaac's "favorite" event of the day, was the scarf guy who was hitting on me in true Arab fashion. Isaac thought he was soooo nice and that I should, as requested, email him and invite him to come to our home. Isaac wants to come back here and find him again. Will put that on the "to do" LATER list.

In the second village we visited a mosque, walked the streets where we saw men drinking coffee, women in their homes and school children in the streets. The landscape was beautiful. We went for tea and coffee and the kids just loved the apple tea. Our traditional lunch was amazing...so much food.

From there was the carpet shop...all tours end at a shop. That was ok. Not as good as others I have seen but Sherry and Tony bought a beautiful rug.

We were dropped back at the port in time to do a little shopping. Sherry was drove with the pestering which doesn't bother me at all. Isaac managed to buy a few things and I got him yet another belt in an attempt to keep his pants up! The kids get a real charge out of my bargaining. I guess I am a little aggressive, maybe even bitchy, if you can believe that. But I only pay what I want. Hey Sharon...they still have that pretty wrapped camel pee!

Back to the ship just in time to change for dinner. Isaac had lamb. He is getting the meat quota he doesn't get at home! Tony had it too and glances at Isaac and says, "How's the lamb?" Isaac couldn't answer because he had the bone in his mouth sucked completely dry. OMG. He will starve when we get home.

We really did have a great day. Tomorrow will be Rhodes, Greece, where Sherry and I will be providing the tour!

The sea is a little calmer tonight so hopefully I'll sleep well. Oh...today the weather was gorgeous! Sunny and 20...perfect for sight seeing.

Til tomorrow, hugs and kisses

Shelley and da gang

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Posted by curlygirl 18:11 Archived in Turkey Tagged cruise turkey istanbul caribbean mediterranean royal Comments (0)

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