Pat’s contribution: After almost a day of traveling, I’m a bit fried. Here are my steam of consciousness impressions…….
Helpful Istanbuli van driver – over 200 lbs luggage in six bags! One hour drive to Emirgan from airport: traffic awful (that’s normal), noxious odor on this smoggy, hot day, building cranes everywhere, floral Ottoman tile-like landscaping on sides of roadway, once in Emirgan, narrow steep streets (two – way impossible but true!)
“Welcome Patricia and Richard” posted on our garden gate, Jennifer and friend, Michael, could not be more hospitable, two tortoises romping in garden, kittens and cats everywhere, persimmon tree (old woman from neighborhood will climb 30 ft tree to harvest best persimmons), Teyvek old gardener – “he takes care of us and we let him pray in the garage”, geraniums and impatiens, and magnificent magnolia tree, rosemary and sage.
Ottoman House – doorknocker has a soul, wooden building used to be common but is very rare in Istanbul today, most burned down, house smells of very old wood – slightly musty, slightly sweet, house’s history – built about 1850- belonged to a wealthy Greek tailor, then when his family was relocated, a Sultan’s Mukta and his family lived here for many years, then a man from Boston who was ambassador to Armenian consul in Istanbul,then Sertels since 1985, please take off your shoes, hand painted fresco on kitchen plaster wall (one section crumbling), marble floors from Marmara sea in kitchen, cistern for water, creaky stairs to second floor, trap door over stairwell for protection, Bosphorous views in luxurious window seat, two young nymph like beauties bath each other in a 4 x 6 foot painting in our bedroom.
Sounds: men and women pushing metal wheeled carts on cobbles, calling to buy/sell junk, other vendors selling vegetables, simik, cars/trucks with music cruising up and down tiny streets selling propane; Call to prayer…..
We got new sim cards for our phones, new phone numbers, wireless set up at house, and groceries thanks to Jennifer and Michael.
Now to bed….