Well 16 days in our travels and what to say?
Just snippets at this stage as I thought I would blog on my phone – but by the time i have checked and responded to email and posted some daily pics onto Instagram – I want to be doing other things and not be on my phone.
So first time on the laptop in ages, and the words flow faster…
Hong Kong – great public transport, loved the Star Ferry and getting the hang of the trains/metro. Went on the Peak Tram up to the top of HK island for amazing views. Didn’t really see any Chinese temples or historical sites, but we did eat dim sum at a 1 Michelin star restaurant – One Dim Sum – which was excellent, thank you Juliette! Beautiful sui mai and steamed rice sheet rolls. We ordered 10 meals!! Probably should have had 6 or 7, but we finished them all off. Mooching around streets and shops. Couldn’t quite get over the density of HK. Just incredible sights of high rise apartments that must house 1000s of people. Really friendly, helpful people, and I enjoyed seeing many Western folk who obviously lived and worked there…Hot? Oh, just a little – early 30s every day- but a real feel of 10 degrees hotter with pretty fierce humidity.
‘copy watches, copy watches’
I feel a sensory overload in a way that I felt in India…different but same. And I think it’s just that overload of sights and smells and experiences that is common with travel. The processing of it all is both wonderful and exhausting. I admit to not realising just how huge Istanbul is…so I have checked and it’s one of those huge cities – in the top 6 populous cities of the world. But what an amazing and rich history. Exotic, both Euoprean and Asian
And the call to prayer…Where we have been staying in Istanbul – in Sultanahmet – the call to prayer is loud and wonderful. It echoes and replies to other call to prayers from The Blue Mosque and other surrounding mosques. The first call to prayer is around 5am and the last for the day is about 9pm.
Sultanahmet is in the old city near The Blue Mosque and Aya Sofya. Easy walking distance to so very much – the Hippodrome, The Grand Bazaar and the Spice Markets. We have visited them all as well as the Topkapi Palace and walked over the Galata Bridge on a hectic Saturday afternoon when it felt like half of Istanbul was out with us!
Travel is that mix of planned and serendipity. Chance and exploration. Good and bad.
Yesterday we met up with Lucy and Brenton. Lucy is a friend of Jacks and the whole family are good friends from preschool days. We jumped on the ferry to Princes Islands. The ferry was 90 minutes each way and packed with both locals and tourists. The islands are a great day trip away from the city and I imagine a great summer holiday for those rich enough to have a house on one of the islands. And who could know that we would see the sun setting behind Sultanahmet and The Blue Mosque and Aya Sofya. Just magic. One of those truly memorable times.
And the Blue Mosque and Aya Sofya and Ephesus and so many of the buildings and places that we have already seen are just so detailed and huge (or small) that you can really only take photos of parts of them…the intersections of lines and columns and ceilings and spaces.
So a bunch of snippets for now.
And I haven’t even touched on our hot air balloon flight over Goreme/Cappadocia or our remarkable day at Pamakkale and Hierapolis and then our day at Ephesus.
Truthfully not giving work a single thought. Missing the kids. Missing lovely family and friends. But loving this.
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Tags: #heyho2014, Aya Sofya, Blue Mosque, Hong Kong, Istanbul