September 7th, 2011 browsing by day


Wednesday Sept 7. Sightseeing in Istanbul.

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Monday evening I had a message from Hilmi Baran, a Turkish American friend I had made through the Seattle sailing rag “48 North”. He lives in North Gate and keeps his sailboat in the Edmonds Marina. He is here in the home he grew up in before moving to England and then to the North West, just 10 minutes away from the Kalamis Marina, near which I am anchored. He is here with his brother who lives on Warren Drive in Gig Harbor. That is also where his mother had moved and she is being buried here tomorrow. His cousin, nephew and niece are here as well for the funeral.

He came to meet me here at the marina this morning, we had coffee at Starbucks and then I met his family members at their apartment and Hilmi,  his cousin Sevgi (pronounce Safeyee), nephew Dincer who has just his degree in geology at Western in Bellingham, and his niece Elif who lives here and studies medicine, she took a semester at U.W. the five of us went sightseeing in Istanbul. His brother stayed on the Asian side. He made me familiar with the transportation system, the ferry, mini bus, etc. They were spending the whole day in Istanbul and I wanted to just visit the Blue Mosque and the Top Kapi Sultan’s palace.

The Blue Mosque was a bit of a disappointment to the expectations I had built up on the frequent references. It is a fabulous structure but it lacked the history and the sphere of the Sophia Basilica. The Top Kapi palace was gorgeous, the main attraction is the size and location overlooking both the Sea of Marmara and the Boshporus. And it must be one of the most elaborate palace structures and layout of gardens any where in the world. It also has beautiful displays of the clothing, jewelry, armor, etc. of the bloom period of the Ottoman empire.

I ran out of propane this morning. I thought I had another couple months left. I have no gauge. And it was a coincidence that Keith pointed out to me a place where I could fill my bottle when we went shopping on Monday at MIGROS. I did not give it much thought. At first I thought he was talking about gas, which is odd for an Englishman, I thought me meant petrol. So, when I get that done later today or tomorrow I will do a little cruising on the Sea of Marmara and then either return by boat ( this is usual an uphill slug against the Northerlies) or take public transportation to meet a friend for a coffee who is flying back to New York on the 12th after arriving from a cruise. And I am still waiting to hear from Son # 1 if he is coming to Istanbul.