Farewell to Istanbul and taking to the air again.

After four and a half weeks in Turkey, three of them in Istanbul, I was beginning to feel very at home in the city.  Returning for a final four days after Bergamon really felt like coming home and I passed landmarks on my way back to the Eastwest Guesthouse with warm recognition – ‘Oh, hello Galata tower,’ etc.  During the week prior to leaving I was in a maelstrom of planning, trying to figure out how to best use my last month of travel.  I tried to swing a trip to Egypt but ended up deciding there wasn’t enough time to do the country justice and ended up planning to go directly to Morocco – my last intended major destination before returning to Spain and my plane back home.  I decided to violate my stick-to-the-ground principles and get a plane ticket since any overland route back there would be lengthy (it took me three months to get here, after all).  Then at the last minute I was researching airfare and realized that much more low-cost flights could be had if I flew through a European airport than going directly from Istanbul to Casablanca.  I paired that intel with my yen to sneak a quick stop over in the Netherlands into my otherwise Mediterranean itinerary and scheduled myself a week layover through Amsterdam’s Schipol airport.  So … expect a few discontinuous posts in the near future concerning canal design and the use of brick as a detailing element.

My last few days in Istanbul were very poignant.  I treated myself to brunch and dinner at my favorite haunt – the Ara Kafe – which I think I’ve mentioned before.  These photos show the cafe unnaturally empty as I’d come in just after opening when I took them.  Still I think they capture a little of its charm with bright light, simple but aesthetic decor and amazing photographs mounted on the wall.  To see more of Guler’s work visit his website.  Also in this photo montage are some snaps of my neighborhood – a modern and slightly hipster European influenced area just off the Istiklal Caddesi which I always forgot to document since it was just “home.”

The last thing I saw before leaving turkey – a stream of rugs being loaded into the airplane cargo area.  Can it really be simpler to fly with carpets in tow rather than having them shipped?

ataturk 1

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