She shall have music... in Istanbul

Amazing things happen in our street! Last Saturday, who should come walking down the road, with his band, but Elvis! He was a lot taller than I remember him, but he was still in good voice and appeared to be advertising a new shopping mall! So, despite all the rumours, Elvis lives! 

That evening we were serenaded by two guitarists as we dined in a local restaurant; and on Sunday the operetta returned. How lovely to be surrounded by so much music!

On Tuesday, we went to the Doğal Tatil Resort again. This time for the orientation meetings held for the English Departments and new foreign teachers of the various Istek Schools. The sumptuous welcome dinner was held by the swimming pool and there was dancing to a live band afterwards. Naturally some people finished up in the pool – it was far too tempting. Erol takes the prize for swimming a spectacular length, fully clothed, after his dunking. Although, perhaps his aquatic expertise is to be expected as he spent some time in the Submarine Corps. 

The following day was taken up by meetings, although I am not sure that everyone appeared, as the last revellers staggered to their beds at 5.00am!

David amid a happy group of colleagues.

The beautiful Nil, the resort manager, and a great friend, 
with Erol, the champion swimmer!

David was kept busy with the two days of orientation meetings, but I was free to please myself. On Thursday, Hilmi drove Roger, Tuğba and me into Şile for the morning. It is a quaint old town which is fast growing into a major holiday resort, judging from the many villas being built. Of course, Tuğba and I managed to get some shopping in as well as admiring the sights! (In the photo: L to R Hilmi, Tuğba and Roger.)

The view of Şile Harbour and the ancient castle.


Opera for All in Bagdat Caddesi, Istanbul

It appears that the operatic concerts will be a feature of our Sundays throughout the summer. How enchanting! This week we were entertained by Mete Taşın, tenor, and Ezgi Özbey, soprano, who were accompanied by flute, violin and piano. We noticed, from our balcony, that the aficionados had already taken all the seats by 8 o'clock, even though the concert didn't start until 9. Fortunately we had our own seats up in the gallery!

Thanks to Roger (seen to the left in the photo) I have been introduced to the local Tuesday Market. This market is absolutely huge and I can see that I am going to spend many satisfying Tuesdays there, as there is so much to see – and buy; added to which, the fresh fruit and vegetables are a must! Less than 50p for a kilo of lush-looking tomatoes!

We also caught up with Levy, Jax and Rosie, who are over here on holiday, visiting Levy's parents. It was great to see them. We went out to try one of the many restaurants along our street. 

There are so many of them that it was hard to make a choice, but we eventually found one that suited. One thing I love about Turkey is that in every restaurant the waiters are pleasant and cheerful and want to please you. It makes dining out such a pleasure!


Enjoying Life in Istanbul, Turkey

From the Left: Me, Annie, David, Gabriela and Mustapha

We are now settled in our apartment and enjoying Bagdad Street and its environs. The pavement cafés are heaving both day and night and there is a holiday atmosphere in the air as people promenade up and down the wide walkways beneath the huge trees lining the road. On Sunday evening, we were even regaled by an operatic recital in the small plaza next door but one. We are also only a short walk away from the Sea of Marmara, where we take our evening stroll. As we look out to sea, the lights of the Prince's Islands beckon and twinkle; we will definitely be visiting them soon! The path along the sea front has been developed for walking, running and cycling, and there are also exercise points and a roller blade rink, so David is thrilled that he has a great place to run!

We were delighted to have lunch with Gabriela and Mustapha on Sunday. We were saying goodbye to other friends, Annie and Fatih, before they left for Australia. Unfortunately, we only got to see Fatih briefly as he had to finish a sculpture he is entering into an exhibition in Melbourne, and it need to be packed for shipping. Although Gabriella and Mustapha live on the European side, overlooking the Black Sea, we found it quick and easy to reach them by travelling on the ferries across and along the Bosphorus. The meal was delicious and we had such a good time catching up – it was as if we had never left!

The view of the Topkapi Palace as we arrived on the European side.

The sun was setting over the Aya Sophia as we reached the Asian side of the Bosphorus.

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I couldn't resist this one!