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Entries about tourist sites

Phallic rocks and navigational shocks

Rachel

We caught our train from Istanbul to just outside Cappadocia, sharing with a slightly wary yet sweet old Turkish couple in our four person couchette. The atmosphere warmed up greatly when the man was showing us videos of his day at the seaside in the sea, and the wedding they'd been to - Nich (hi Nich) they do the finger linking line dance here too! We love turkish music and the next day he was playing some from his phone in our carriage. We shared some food of theirs and tried to make conversation...badly. He definitely subscribed to the "repeat and shout louder" school of interpretation.

I wont say much about Cappadocia because the photos will say much more: mental geology, underground cities and cave houses/hotels that are still in use. Oh and Dave hired a scooter today while I went on a tour of the bits we didnt see yesterday on our 20K hike

I'm writing this on the soft-breezy balcony of our hostel with an Italian/German couple who are both studying in Turkey and have been our story swapping and tour buddies and given us loads of advice about the country and chuckles too - Hi Elena and Jonas! Thanks for everything

1 point each today for not getting totally lost despite our best efforts on our hike. yay us!

Posted by rachndave 11:21 Archived in Turkey Tagged tourist_sites Comments (3)

Scrubbers!

Rachel

Was woken up in Istanbul by the sound of the call to prayer, just like all the guide books say you will be. This is a sound I've become quite used to and even welcome. Dave and I were chatting about it and were both saying how much we like it because it's a reminder of how other people are doing the same thing at the same time and thinking about something other than the day-to-day. Dave has a super cool recording on his sound recorder at the intersection of three big mosques - it's genuinely very moving

We had a super touristy day this day. Blue Mosque (apparently you're not supposed to say "shits all over churches" in such places dave tells me). Aya Soia. An atmospheric, cavernous, ambient underground water storage cistern with low lights and artwork between the columns. And then to a proper turkish bath which started out looking like a spa or something in centre parks and then the main bath was like something from the movies - twenty topless women lounging on a central raised platform while burly surly old women scrubbed people lying round the edge of the platform with bubbles. A baffling yet liberating experience and i've never felt so clean...although i think some of the dirt may have been bullied off!

We timed it to catch the sunset on the bridge and took photos from every angle for every change in shade :) Then a drink in a street that had a dozen bars each playing loud live local music while people stood to dance when the mood took them - often only one person at a table at a time. People-watching central.

Was an action packed day!!

I have sadness to report...the loss, presumed found by a child (i hope), of Monkey. Vans gave me a little monkey to take away and he was happy swinging attached to my bag. We detached him to take a comedy photo sitting on the steps of the Blue Mosque next to a "do not sit here" sign...as everyone else was ignoring it. But at some point between there and aya sophia he escaped.

I am VERY sad about this :( Dave is going to look into a way you can perhaps send a brother or sister of his to a PO box in say, Damascus, if you'd be willing?? Lose 5 points :(

Nothing else to report from Istanbul other than seeing a LOT of cats, and arm punching grafitti (photos to follow)

We're in Cappadocia now on a balcony after a hard days sightseeing

Posted by rachndave 10:16 Archived in Turkey Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

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