Oct.03.2010, Istanbul

on board the “Full Bosphorus Cruise”

0800 mixed blue sky, clouds and sunshine, 18 C.  Breakfast, then 0930 depart for Eminonu by tram.  Ferry boat departs Galata Bridge at 1035 on the “Full Bosphorus Cruise”.  North up the Bosphorus with stops at Besiktas (European side), Kanlica (Asian side), Yenikoy (Eur), Sariyer (Eur), Rumeli Kavagi (Eur) and final stop at Anadolu Kavagi (Asia) at 1205, a small tourist town near the north end of the strait with many restaurants and a fortress on top of the hill.  Wandered around pointlessly for a while.  Chrystal stepped in it (dog do). Sidewalk restaurant for lunch.  I had lentil soup, beans in olive oil, fried mackerel and apple tea.  Back in the town center in time for 10 minutes of torrential rain, hiding in the shops and under awnings.  Then some tourist shopping and caught the return ferry at 1430, departing southward at 1500.  Note – on the way up the strait I saw a small fleet of about 5 large table seine boats fishing.  Mackerel or sardines?

1700 mixed cloud, sun, 22 C.  Returned to Turkoman Hotel.  Left for supper at 1830.  Richard & Kathy did not accompany us – Richard is not feeling 100%, congested and coughing.  By the time we got to the far side of the Blue Mosque, Debbie decided she needed a bathroom instead of supper and headed back solo to the hotel.  Later we found out that she got lost (and found).  The girls and I headed down into the neighbourhood below the Blue Mosque and they checked out a bunch of tourist shops then found a bar/restaurant for supper.  LOL, the restaurant made my noodle dish in the back, but the girl’s pizza was delivered from some other restaurant.  Service was extremely slow.  It was like this.  I saw the servers or cook put the girl’s pizza on the counter and leave it there.  I figured out they were waiting for my pasta to cook.  I stopped our waiter and said, “Don’t wait, serve the girls their pizza, I see it’s ready.”  So they did, and my pizza arrived a few minutes later.  Back to the hotel for 2030 then upstairs to write in my journal.  Richard & Kathy came upstairs and Richard and I shared some beer.

There was a 4.4 earthquake – the time in my journal doesn’t make sense, but it was either 2100 or 2200.  I was down in reception where it sounded like a door being slammed somewhere in the back of the building.  The girls were up top at the terrace and they say that the hotel swayed.  I went up to the terrace and onto the computer, confirmed that it was an earthquake.  No immediate mention of damage in Istanbul.  Headed for bed.  So, warning to travelers – not mentioned much but Istanbul is lying on a major fault zone and they are expecting a “big one”.  Not too comforting, but that is the way it is.

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