Istanbul was the first stop of my trip to Nepal. It would be my first time there and I’d have about 10 hours ‘til my flight to Sharjah and Kathmandu. Not sleeping the previous night and carrying 2 big rucksacks made me wonder on how much I’d enjoy this close to home but never visited city.
I made a note with some directions on how to reach the airport that I had to reach by 10:30 PM and off I went. Got on the subway, took the tram and decided to get off in time to walk through the Galata Bridge. The city looks impressive, with it’s large mosques and busy streets. There were a lot of things that reminded me of Bucharest a couple of years ago.
I walked around the Galata Bridge for about an hour and found a place to have lunch. Șiș was the name of the day and it was great. That and the baked halva. People were getting on and off the buses while they were still moving, everybody was selling something from fish to pickle juice to apple tea, the cab drivers were out of their cars trying to get customers. Everybody was busy. It’s nice to see places in which time does not radically change people’s habits. I’d have liked to see more of that back home.
As it got darker I wondered around the Karakoy dock and found this fishmarket on one of the alleys. It’s like everything went to life after the sun started setting. At first I was a little skeptical about taking my camera out, but after I did I couldn’t believe that by being that busy, almost nobody noticed me.
They were just selling, and were very good at it. The fish looked great and it was pretty honest trade. The quiet mode on my camera made me feel a little better about clicking freely, although I now think it was all in my head, since there was quite some noise there from the nearby dock.
I was so glad I found that place. I was quite tired, since I hadn’t slept the previous night, but this place made me forget about that. I took a couple of shots and decided to move on, since I didn’t have that much time left ‘til my flight.
As I passed the market’s entrance I just turned around to take some more pictures and found myself doing this for a couple more times. Went back and forth through the market for about 45 minutes before finally leaving. I still had a long way to the airport, and not understanding Turkish didn’t help me at all. There are some Romanian words we have inherited from the Turkish and it was funny to see and hear them on the street. Luckily there are a lot of them that speak decent English.
Everything looked so different than it looked a couple of hours before. It was a little less crowded, but vivid. I didn’t expect this change.
Got to the Grand Bazar, but it wasn’t quite my cup of tea. Looked a lot like our cheap clothes markets, which kinda’ makes sense since they’re a lot of Turkish people selling in our markets.
Time was running out and it was time to head for the airport. Got to the ferry to cross on to the Asian side of Istanbul. The ticket machine changed my 20 Lira into a big pile of small coins. I’m sure the airport security guys had their laugh when they scanned my backpack. All of the sudden I remembered that I hadn’t slept. I remembered when I fell asleep while waiting for the checkin to open. Four and a half hours to Sharjah and another four and a half to Kathmandu. No biggie.
See ya’ next time. Stay tuned for updates.
Oh and Merry Christmas.