Christmas in Istanbul 2013

Christmas-inspired lights on Bagdat Caddesi (our street), 
ready to celebrate the New Year!

This year we spent Christmas in Istanbul, and were delighted to have Clare and Reg to share it with us. Here, on Bagdat Caddesi, everything shouts Christmas, but in reality, the lights and decorations are all for the New Year Celebrations. It appears that Turkey has adopted all the commercial aspects of Christmas for New Year. Noel Babba (Father Noel) brings presents, Christmas trees and decorations are everywhere, and the locals even tuck in to a Turkey dinner!

An enormous Noel Baba (Father Christmas), all lit up!

Huge Christmas baubles on the side of the road...

together with a huge Christmas/New Year's cake...

...a gingerbread man

...a star studded bauble

...and a Christmas tree in lights!

Father Christmas was very good to us too!

Reg opens the champagne.

Reg thought he would try slicing the top off the champagne with a sword, as he did at Catherine and Michael's wedding (see post here), but all we had was a plastic shoehorn, which unfortunately didn't have the same result. So he had to resort to the more usual method.

During Clare and Reg's week in Istanbul, we visited the Grand Bazaar...

...stopped by Sirkeci Station, famous for the Orient Express,

...visited Buyukada, one of the Princes Islands,

...and had a magnificent lunch in one of the restaurants by the quay.

The time went by far too quickly, but I did enjoy Christmas, and I am now looking forward to a wonderful 2014. Mutlu Yillar (Happy New Year) everyone.

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