Sunday, June 3, 2012

Another week in Istanbul....

Ooops... Whole week went by and no updates.... sorry!
It was relatively uneventful... we did go on a whirlwind tour of several places last Sunday... I'll post a few pictures below, hopefully they will paint a better picture than me ;).
First Topkapi palace, then lunch in Sultanahmet section, then prayed in Sultanahmet mosque (The Blue Mosque), then to Eyup Sultan mosque for a little tour, then to a nice patio/terrace which had a GREAT view over the Bosphorus...  (actually went there again with Orhan yesterday)...  It's called Mimar Sinan Teras Cafe...   After the cafe we went to Today's Zaman newspaper which was very interesting because we learned a lot about recent history in Turkey.   Mehmed was touring around with the group... he was pretty good, enjoyed some things and hated others... I guess that's what you can expect when he's not travelling around with other kids.
The rest of the week was kind of uneventful.  I went to classes every day and Mehmed came with me on Monday and Friday, but went to the Turkish school on the other 3 days.  All in all he had a pretty good week... got to see his dad on Wednesday night and Thursday night.   Orhan's business is not finished yet so he's still staying in a hotel on the European side, and we're still staying with our hosts in Uskudar (Asian side).
Friday night we went to Samanyolu television which is a TV Station company with about 9 different stations.  It was pretty interesting.  Mehmed was only bored during the question and answer period but the rest of it he seemed to enjoy, especially the visit to the production room and the studio/set.  I don't think I can post pictures from that since they're in my phone.
Saturday we actually had a day off of classes since the girls were supposed to go to the Turkish Olympics.  I went there with my Turkish hosts - we didn't actually see any competition, just the booths from each country where they have a Turkish school.  Each country had some of their own local food, clothes, music, art or anything that is unique to the country.   There were also student natives from those countries who were learning Turkish and could communicate with the crowds about their school and countries.  The African countries drew the most attention, it was so crowded there that you almost couldn't approach the booths.
It took us less than two hours to visit the whole thing, and afterwards Dogan Bey (our host) dropped us off at Yeni Mosque to meet Orhan.  We wandered around the bazaars behind Yeni Camii and Suleymaniye, then went to have a snack on the Terrace at Mimar Sinan Terrace Cafe.... such a beautiful view...  I don't have those pics from Saturday because Orhan has the camera, but I will post the ones from our visit there last Sunday.
After that we went to visit his cousin Serafettin Hoca (he's an Imam at one of the smaller mosques there).   Then this morning we did a lot of walking... walked to Istiklal Caddesi (famous street), Orhan also had some business he needed to take care of, then later we went to a two hour Bosphorus tour (by boat) - that was Mehmed's choice, but the views were gorgeous and it was refreshing to be in the breeze on such a hot day.  After the boat tour, walked a bit through Misr Carsi (Corn/Egypt Market... not sure which is supposed to be the right translation since Misr means both)...  and slowly made our way back here to the house where we had a lovely fish barbeque courtesy of Dogan Bey and Nihan Hanim (our marvellous hosts)... it was really good, even Mehmed devoured most of his two fish!
And so here are some photos:
Our first "Teacher Helper" Sevilay , another student in the class, Sevara from Uzbekistan, and our teacher Seyda.

 The girls in Class with Ruth, one of our teachers.

 Gathered around and meeting the new arrivals.
 Mehmed and Idil playing bubbles off the patio.

 Mehmed and Idil goofing around when we took a walk for ice cream.
 Ice cream :)
 On the roof at Sema Hospital.
 Getting a talk by the chief (well, only) cardiologist at Sema hospital.  Translations courtesy of Murat Bey.
 Gathering room at Kimse Yok Mu

 Topkapi Saray (Castle)

 Sultan Ahmet Mosque.

 View from Mimar Sinan Teras Cafe.

 Today's Zaman Newspaper.

 Mehmed getting a lesson on ancient printing presses.