Prior to our conference, I had a pair of hours to make the most of. It would have been a criminal waste not to experience Istanbul and so got out and about.
Almost quite literally the very first thing I noticed when strolling in to town were the cats. Street cats. Tonnnnnnnes of ’em. Quite comfortable within the bustle of such a wonderful city, they can be quite vicious when approached directly, especially the tiny kittens. Fed and watered by the locals, they do make an unusual attraction.
Stopping to take photos, a street vendor approached and said, “You are from England?”. “Yes”, I replied, expecting to be pressed in to buying sugar – crusted bread things. “Sorry about Europe”, he said, and walked off!!! Hahaha!!!!! Pitied by the Turks for the collective calamity of a nation.
Airport Bombing. Ataturk airport was attacked last night by adversaries as yet unidentified.Some 41 were killed, with 239 or so injured. Yet another terrorist incident designed entirely to attack the tourism and economy of this beautiful country. It reaffirmed my desire to fight this fight, to protect those who cannot or will not. Security about town is heavy but relaxed, vigilant but not oppressive, balanced. They’re getting it right. A determined adversary will always find a way through.
Beauty. I cannot emphasise enough the contrasting beauty of this city. Built and rebuilt by conflicting invaders and visitors over the centuries, the influences of the furthest reaches of Asia and Europe are clearly in evidence in the many, many Mosques, bridges and street architecture . This balance and acceptance of all faiths and beliefs is what makes it a target by some but is what makes it such an example to all. It must be supported to continue.
Before my eyes were able to take in even the cats, the smell got me first. The humidity amplifies the smell of real life in a such a town. Not dirty, life, not sanitised. It’s a warm, musky blanket of sweet, spices, sour, sea salt, local trees and, quite likely, some cats. I have in fact been very taken by the very clean streets. So much effort is made to keep it clean, it us very impressive.
Turkish Delight. It would be quite churlish to visit Turkey and not take back some Turkish Delight. In fact, I think it would be quite dangerous to return to Mrs Nomad or GrAnnie Nomad without some fresh TD. It’s just not a risk I’d like to take 😉 On going to pay, in broken English came the question, “From England?” Half expecting another Brexit sympathy pat on the back, I actually had, “Prince William? Kate? “. “Yes!” I smiled, leaving with 750g of Almond, Rose and Pistachio.
Workout of the Day
I had planned on visiting CrossFit Taxim but alas it is shut for Ramadan. The hotel gym has treadmills and some dumbbells but nothing else. Therefore, I quickly put put together :
3 Rounds For Time:
- 10 x Pistol Squats
- 30 x Push Ups
- 50 x Mountain Climbers
Very staccato and broken. Challenged by the single leg squats and the push ups today.
But what a view!