Sunday, June 7, 2009

Good-bye Istanbul!!!

Not forever, of course, but just for a few weeks.

In my travels to say good-bye to friends and get a laundry list of things done, here is my last few days in the Big 'Bull, mostly in pictures.

The gorgeous fountain outside Topkapi Palace. I cannot get enough of this building! 
The colours, the textures, the marble the tiles... I just love it.

My friend Murat owns a few carpet shops here in Sultanahmet. He's from Van and has two Van cats at his shop. Like him, these cats come from Eastern Turkey and have a few special qualities. 
1) They always have two different coloured eyes. 
2)They are always pure white, sometimes with a little grey spot at the base of their necks, between their shoulder blades. (Legend says it's the place where God touched them as they left the Ark, also located near Van on Mt. Ararat.)
3) They have an undercoat, which keeps them dry when they SWIM. Yes, I said it! SWIM!

Sultan and Sultana

Sultana's blue eye, green eye and evil eye, (round her neck!) 
Sultana has just had kittens, although all of them are ORANGE (bad Sultana!), 
they all have the most amazing green or blue eyes,
 (matching eyes, only pure kitties get different ones.) 

The Blue Mosque in the late afternoon sun.

Sweet dog that has been adopted by a restaurant on the hippodrome.

Cargo Ships getting loaded up on the Asian side.

View of Sokollu Mehmet Pasha Mosque and the boats in the 
Marmara Sea from our terrace at sunset. 

Although we're sad to leave Istanbul for these next 6 weeks,  we keep telling ourselves we'll be back before we know it. In the meantime.... next stop for adventure - Muscat, Oman! Hello 50 degree weather, blazing sun and burning sand!! We must be crazy!