• May 31, 2011 /  Turkey 2011

    Hello All…..we arrived safe and sound.  The direct flight with Turkish Airlines turned out to be the good choice we anticipated it would be.  Nothing better than going through security ONCE en route.  It was nice to board and arrive at our destination after a nights’ rest.  We slept for most of the flight which made it go a lot quicker.  We must have had a good tail wind because the trip took just 8h 55mins.  Not bad.  A decent meal on board and the middle isle seats to ourselves.  The plane was not completely full which made things better for us all.  All in all….a nice flight here.  We were greeted by Ruhat and Demir’s friend who helped us load our luggage into the trunk of his Fiat.  He drove us to the boat dock on the European side of Istanbul where Ruhat and Demir were waiting for us.  They had arranged a porter to load the boat with our luggage.  An hour and a half later with stops at a couple of other islands, and we arrived at our island, Buyukada.  We brought our luggage off the boat where another porter was waiting to wisk our luggage up to the home.  It’s a 15min walk and after the flight and all, I was happy to see someone else hauling our luggage up.  Again, a very nice welcoming!

    The summer home my in-laws have rented is quite nice.  It’s on the second level of a three story building, three bedroom, one and a half baths, walkouts from two of the bedrooms and a nice eating patio complete with fire oven place.  The patio has a view (not clear but good enough) of the sea where Istanbul can be seen across the water.  It’s a nice view at night with all the lights.

    We’ve made the trek into the city a couple of times now.  The city is as crazy as ever.  Most of the taxi drivers scare the crap outta me.  Since seat belts are not law here, most cannot be found in the back seat of the taxi’s which makes the ride that much more scary.  I personally don’t wear one because it’s law, I wear one because it can save my life.  But city is full of history.  Nice history.  Some of it is a shame because it hasn’t been preserved better.  The old ruins of a castle and it’s ground can be seen on the European side at various places.  In one spot, a part of a wall stands in between the sea and the highway.  Another area shows another wall of the castle against the earth and above it are homes.  It’s like they built up around the ruins.  Like they just ignored they were there and worked around them.  I think there is so much here it may have been difficult to do anything with them AND keep up the growth.

    The weather has been great so far.  A nice comfortable low 20’s temperatures during the day but it has been quite humid, which can make it feel a lot warmer than it really is.  The evenings are nice and cool to make it nice to sleep.  The only problem is that there is a mosque across the street from our place and 5am sharp is prayer time……5am blaring over the loudspeakers!!!  But the hilarious thing about it once you get over the anger of being wakened for the prayer blasting is the dog that lives next to the mosque.  He howls along with the prayer.  We don’t know if he’s joining the prayer or giving it heck.  Either way, it’s hilarious.  Fortunately, we just fall back asleep.

    Anyhow….that’s a recap so far.

    Mark