Istanbul/not Constantinople…

Roaming in the doming…Where else but Istanbul
could roaming in the doming ever be more bluemosqueful?
Every skyline swell and curve
tickled both our optic nerves
when we went blithely roaming in the doming….


Janet agrees:
“Istanbul, was Constantinople/ been a long time gone Constantinople/
Now it’s Turkish Delight on a moonlight night.”
(Jimmy Kennedy, 1953)

7 days and nights in Istanbul, how wonderful. Very busy donning the veil, visiting mosques, neck craning to sweep the domes, wandering through palaces, harems and gardens.
Planes, trains, buses, and trams all very crowded, seats were offered if scarce, however standing is preferable to sitting under an umbrella of sweaty armpits.The day on the Bosphorus cruising between the European and Asian continents was very easy and a welcome relief from the hustle in the city.
The magical Blue Mosque, almost our neighbour when we moved to Sultanahmet and its dawn call to prayer very beautiful. Bargaining in the Grand Bazaar, spellbound in twirling Dervish skirts and arms and hands and feet. image
imageOur hosts at both hotels were wonderful especially Jahlal.
Turkish food, how smug we felt ordering in restaurants and cafés in Istanbul/notConstantinople after having done our back street eating tour in Dubai where much of the middle eastern cuisine common to Turkey, was presented and explained.
The tourist is a strange beast, worth some study. Do they leave their safe comfortable cocoon homes and gird themselves in spiky studded armour with a megaphone attached? I am constantly appalled at the everyone-for-themselves attitude: “out of my way, I’m first”.

…and then we have to identify as one of them. Oh no – not one of them! image imageBut no point trying to look like a local, and truth be told, the Turkish tourists, who are absolutely everywhere in numbers, have clearly all taken first class Honours in Assertiveness. Mild-mannered Moles could do well to take some tips…and just journey forth in slightly more muscular modes maybe, madam. But this identity shapeshift thing is real. Because the tourist stereotype is an awkward one to bear and we’re already weighed down enough with our 12-months of away-from-home carry bags (yes, me more than Janet) plus planning stops in each next town which snatches the time we’d rather be spending seeing and doing the things that tourists come to see and do….it’s a bit circular, you see. And contradictory, you also see. Never mind – we’re graduating every day to new levels of competence in negotiating the world in the preferred category of “traveller”.
It’s election time (local councils) in Turkey as you have probably heard and the spirits of democracy are rampant abroad so Twitter and U-tube are blocked by order of the Dear Leader. Tomorrow the vote so we will soon know if the good folk of Istanbul have set the path for a change or a no-go with the stasisquo…Either way I doubt it much matters to the 10-billion at least dome-roaming cats of Istanbul, nor prompt a Dervish to a single false step….

About The Moles

Although moles hold no particular attraction for us, when we moved to Tasmania in 2003, we lived in Mole Creek. With hopes of fitting in sooner rather than later, we embraced the name in our e-mail account. Now that we are heading off on our globe-trot we thought we'd maintain solidarity with moles and even give them an outing, hence the curious id.... -And since Annie's late Mum, Gwen, was pleased to call herself Molesmama, she's coming too. Not lost on us is the marvellous ambiguity inherent in the word and the notion that very little is known about these small, sleepy, dark-dwelling creatures....
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10 Responses to Istanbul/not Constantinople…

  1. And don’t forget the fistic baclava!!!

  2. Beth Rowan says:

    What in the water pipe Janet?? Thanks for the photos and commentary, sounds like you are fast learning to be ‘travellers’ …the good, bad and the ugly!!

  3. jenny Sutton says:

    Enjoying your stories and comments. Thankyou. Jenny -Bassendean WA

  4. Well, it seems that you are natural bloggers. Your writing is lyrical and conjures the imagery along with the thoughts, sensations and I suspect the impending personal transformations of your journey. There is more than the shift from tourist to traveller occurring. It must be wonderful to have the freedom to be observers of humanity. Enjoy x x

  5. Aqua says:

    Hi Girls! Wonderful photos and descriptions and a joy to see you enjoying yourselves and not pining for a good cup of tea. I’m off tomorrow see a few domes myself in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. I’ll try and take a few good snaps but I’m not going to bother to try to compete with the blog!

  6. Beth Rowan says:

    Hello darlings second go I wrote u a whol page and it’s gone . Must bethe reds have been reading your blogs will sign on tomorrow Am t Beth and Susan’s and always having a good time Much love Virginia xx

  7. Beth Rowan says:

    Hello my dears
    Must add to Virginia’s comment…talking about you and wish we were there to see some of sights with you!! Hope it’s mostly good and it’s a real overall adventure!!!lots of love Beth and Susan xxxx

  8. LIZ magr says:

    Hey there molesafar… I say G’day to ya both! Enjoying your blog and photos. Be safe on your solo walks Annie and Janet what ya smokin in that chillum? Love to ya both and safe travelling luvvies.

  9. Margot says:

    Hi Annie & Janet – I am really enjoying your impressions of cok guzel Turkey. You both sound like you are making the most of every moment. Isn’t Istanbul stunningly beautiful? All the tulips must be out now: I wonder if this summer will be another summer of protest? Enjoy your next destination and I’ll keep enjoying your reflections love Margotx

  10. Sandra Clyne says:

    Hi both
    Thanks for the latest blog and so glad you Re feeling bette – let’s hope the Spanish vino will do wonders for the constitution.
    All’s well in dear old Alice Springs. We had (almost) a week of rain a couple of weeks ago and the Todd flowed for about an hour!! However it brightened up everything and lifted our spirits.
    It’s Easter Sunday and we have been playing. Golf for 3 days – just one got go with S leading the B division and C up with the “big” girls in A div. hopefu,lily we can keep it together in the final round .
    Deidre arrived on Thursday after a drive of 3 maybe 4 days. Haven’t seen her yet. She is staying with Meg. We did invite them to roast dinner at the GC tonight but they already had an engagement.
    She’s starts work at Carer Respite on Tuesday. Let’s hope it all goes well.
    Lottie still goes along strongly and send her love.
    Must dash to roast dinner while you will be eating paella and drinking sangria ???
    Love s and c

    Sent from my iPad


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