Leaving Riyadh for a holiday is always good. But when your destination is Istanbul it’s twice as exciting.
We’ve been here three days now and already we’ve walked and seen and heard so much. I’ve seen fresh pomegranates being squeezed and made into juice on the street.
I’ve been woken up by the call to prayer (some things never change) but here it comes from Istanbul’s spectacular Blue Mosque. It's incredibly loud, even by Riyadh standards.
I’ve tried Turkish meze platters and read of their interesting history. Something to do with food tasters employed by Sultan Suleimanthe Magnificent, and being given small dishes to test taste. If one of them keeled over, then you’d know for sure they’d done a good job and the food was seriously unsafe for the Sultan.
(Too late for the tasters though. Unfortunately.)
We’ve marvelled at the amazing gilt mozaics in St Saviour Chora and looked for the story in each.
At Hieroplis we saw the necropolis or burial ground, and read the stories told by the different symbols on each mausoleum. Our guide explained to us that a wine amphora, a trident and a shield along one lintel told that this was the resting place of a former gladiator.
|Amphora, trident and a shield (no, really, it is!)|
At Pammukale we saw the natural hot springs and wondered if this was how New Zealand's pink and white terraces once looked.
And at the end of each day we return to our hotel ready to sleep and recharge our batteries for the next day’s adventuring.
Because isn’t that the way all holidays should be?