Saw the sunset over Europe on a sunset ferry in Istanbul... Well, Jen saw it a few months ago
One of the best things about being overseas for an extended period of time is having visitors and last month my parents came to see us in Istanbul.
While they were only here for a short time, 10 days in all, they packed every day full of walking tours of the suburbs on both the Asian and European sides of the Bosphoros.
Travelling out to pick them up Meaghan and I had the opportunity of sightseeing some of the real back waters of Istanbul, for a solid 2 and a half hour tour. It appears that the E10 Bus, traveling between Kadikoy and Sabiha Gokcen Airport, picks its path through some of the less scenic streets. We arrived just in time to see Dad getting escorted through the Immigration and Customs area looking for an ATM.
Travellers tip for Istanbul Number 1: Always arrive with 20 USD in your pocket for the payment of the tourist visa on arrival.
The return trip on the E10 was a little less scenic and a whole lot quicker.
While they were here we got the olds off to the usual tourist sights in SultanAhmet, it was really nice to be the tour guide again, we have only slightly improved our tried and tested walking tour of SultanAhmet, including the Basilica Cistern, The Covered Bazaar and a sunset cruise across to Kadikoy – well. We tried for a sunset and got absolutely drenched instead. With a few modifications and a bit more time we were able to make sure they got out along the Bosphoros Cruise as well.
A well-earned rest
Tha Kadikoy Goose
On one of our day trips over to SultanAhmet, we stumbled on a tea and nargile garden and ventured inside ofr a break from walking. We found ourselves sitting in a place that time forgot, surrounded by flying carpets and hawkers flogging their wares, we sat down next to an old bloke who eventually struck up a conversation with Dad. He kept calling Dad his older brother which was pretty cool.
Mum and Dad outside the Covered Bazaar
Mum and Dad were also lucky enough to experience on the the true spectacles of Kadikoy - a protest. In the past people have been hurt at these things so we were fortunate that it was a peace protest calling for an end to the Iraq war.
A Peaceful Protest...
We also had a few days off from work so Meaghan and I were able to go with them down to Canakkale and the Gallipoli Peninsula.
That was awesome. Turkiye celebrates the war efforts on March the 18th. A month before ANZAC Day and the date that commemorates the launch of the Naval battle that began the Allied Campaign in earnest.
Meaghan and Dad demonstrated how terribly sad the war effort must have been by throwing a pine cone across from one trench to the other a few times. The trenches were so close that the opposing forces would do the same thing with a hand grenade before the inevitable bad ending. The incredible stories of friendships forged throughout the 240 day campaign become so much more understandable when you realise just how close the opposing forces were.
After the Gallipoli Peninsula, we returned to Istanbul and Mum and Dad continued to fill their days with trips across the river to the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace.
Having the in Istanbul was fantastic but the time went so quickly, before we knew it they were gone.