In this area trucks are not permitted on the roads between 4.00 and 10 pm each day – they have big lay byes on the highways where the truckies wait. Small cars and taxis can go to 110 km per hour on the highways.
The faithful are called to prayer about 5 times a day, the first being at 5.30 and the last around 10.30pm.
The old part of Istanbul where we are staying is a mass of small roads which wind up and down hills, they do not appear wide enough for two vehicles to pass each other but they manage – we know as we have been in a car, a shuttle type van and a small bus all around this place……Sultanahmet.
When a young man asks if you are looking for the Blue Mosque and before you know it he is walking with you to the mosque it is not because (a) You are a visitor in his country and he is pleased to help you or (b) he has a brother in NZ and wants to tell you about his brother or (c) his best friend from school now lives in Sydney which he knows is close to NZ…….no it is because after you have visited the mosque he will be waiting at the exit to take you to his carpet, or ceramic, or jewellery shop. Once there he will ply you with sweet apple tea and all his uncles and cousins will suddenly surround you. Very disappointed that I only purchased earrings for about $50!
Andy should never wear an Aussie hat in Turkey, and then when asked which part of Australia he comes from he should NOT say NZ and then try and get away from “oh kiwis – Kia ora”. Neither should he respond when teased with ” hey Aussie……where is your horse?”
Despite the fact that we have had two days walking around markets and shops this morning was the worst ever, we could hardly move two feet without being politely (and they are mostly polite) harassed. After he changed into shorts and a cap it was much better.
We also should never travel in Greece or Turkey ( and guess Shanghai will be worse ) in August. It is around 35 most days and being constantly in wet dirty clothes ( with accompanying hat hair or soaking wet flat hair) now Andy has also got heat rash.
Beds in Turkey in summer in hotels often only have a bottom sheet on the bed with a very light cotton blanket on top, or just a top sheet as well. Lovely when the air con doesn’t work but a bit cold when air con is pumping out icy air. All mattresses in Turkey are hard with no give and the beds are low to the floor. Hard to get out of quickly when struck with cramp.
Guests in hotels in Turkey always slam their room doors no matter what time of night, they also receive phone calls at all hours of the night, street cleaners love shouting and dropping their bins from a great height at 2.00am.
It is okay when in Turkey to have 10 different kinds of cheese for breakfast!
Lastly we should not get confused when quoted in $US, Euro and Turkish Lira……well was it two Euro for one dollar or for one lira. Better to get lira from the cash machine and pray that it will ask if you want to use English to make the transaction, Turkish is difficult to read.
One more lastly why have Oceania cruise not unfrozen the $500 from my debit card that they froze when we boarded…..we disembarked Friday, they have had the amount we spent cleared but so far they have not lifted the amount they froze and they still owe us $120 US dollars!