May 23rd & 24th
Flew to Istanbul via Amsterdam, the flight long to Amsterdam long and uneventful. A nice woman on her way to a sailing trip in Greece beside me. Not that I wanted to watch the movie but the screen was miles away if I had. Bad planning. But the legroom was okay which is a very good thing. My ankles still ugly swollen upon arrival. When travelling, the complaining about getting there and back is the worse part, so enough complaining.
The flight from Amsterdam to Istanbul was three hours but easy, and the seat next to mine was empty. I couldn't stretch out into it because the arm was unmovable, but it still helped.
Arrived in Instabul in early afternoon. Christina and Matt were there to meet me, and we got a taxi to their wonderful apartment, where Matt's mother Inger was waiting, sketching the marvellous view out the window. You can see the Aya Sofia and the Blue Mosque from their huge windowseat (and another huge mosque and ragged bits of rows of houses filling up the hill).
|The view out Christina and Matt's window. You can't make out the Aya Sofia and the Blue Mosque in this picture, but believe me, they're there.
We had tea and then walked up that hill (it looked more intimidating a climb than it really was, and the worse is the part just outside their apartment) to a Thai restaurant. Quite upscale compared to the hole in the wall (mostly) ones at home. Some of the food was great, some forgettable. I wonder if the chef was Thai? It was still a very pleasant meal, the Phad Thai especially very lime-y and wonderful, and lovely iced watermelon juice.
The streets on the way there and back full of pedestrians, walking and talking. Busy street life. We ran into a friend of Matt and Christina's on the way there, and stood talking for a while as I zoned out. I perked up at the restaurant, but barely got back to the apartment before I had to go and sleep.