Almost a disaster in Istanbul.

Day one in Istanbul and I thought I would do it all right, by the book as it were. Woken up at dawn by the first Call to Prayer of the day. My little hostel is between the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque and with the muezzins chanting from both I as well and truly awake. Thinking creatively I got up thinking, the light, the light. Went up onto the roof and watched the sun come up over the other side of the narrow sea that runs through Istanbul, the Bosphorus, Asia. Truly spectacular and yes, the light was perfect.

The Blue Mosque at sunrise.

The Blue Mosque at sunrise.


Back to my room and tried to sleep again, no such luck, so did the usual morning stuff except that all my shave jell had leaked, fortunately into the Heathrow security bag. Messy.

Still early I went down to Pub Street for breakfast, yoghurt and honey with an omelet. Then off to explore the mosques. Walked about and admired the architecture then began to feel weird. Headed back to hotel and decided I had sunstroke.

I didn’t do everything right, almost a total fail in fact. Got sick on day one!

Drank two bottles of water, ate two packets of biscuits, slept for four hours and felt better, great in fact. Back out into the heat, it was about 90 (32C) and paid to enter the Hagia Sophia. Truly spectacular dome but the feeling of vastness was marred by reconstruction, scaffolding from floor to dome. A bit disappointing. Walked through the park like area to the Blue Mosque and sat outside for an hour, people watching. Will go in for a visit later when there aren’t so many visitors.

The day did not go exactly as planned and for a while there I thought “oh no”, but as evening falls, the temperature drops and the marvel of the Blue Mosque fills my view from the rooftop, hey, it could have been worse.

9 responses to “Almost a disaster in Istanbul.

  1. Hopefully just jet lag catching up with you, hope you’ve been taking the yogurt!! Photos look great, Istanbul is a must sometime

  2. You are probably right. Haven’t had a decent night’s sleep since leaving Ca.
    Thanks, loving new camera, just wish it wasn’t so big.
    Yogurt is good.
    Oh and good idea from you, Uzbekistan Embassy in the morning.

  3. Following you on Finding Friends, totally cool. Remember to drink bottled water and wear a hat. I loved waking up to the call to prayer when I visited Turkey in the 70s. In San Anselmo, we are coming out of a heat wave, 98, 90 and now high 80s. The good thing is it cools in the evening. Jeannie

  4. So sorry to hear about your not being well on the first day of your trip – but it didn’t sound like too much of a disaster. You did the right thing,went back and slept, gave your poor ole bod a rest. The past few weeks must have been totally knackering, but with your attention focussed on the kick-off, you haven’t had the opportunity to stop and re-charge your batts. Istanbul is an awesome city, it sounds like you got to see it at the best time of day when you went up onto the roof! Make sure you take things really easy for a few days, your system needs to adjust. Enough nagging from me, enjoy the sights! Did you manage to get your visa and train tickets?

  5. Your body obviously needs time to adjust after the last few weeks – you have focussed on your trip but you have had a busy time of it lately and it’s taken its toll. Despite that, your first day doesn’t sound like a total disaster at all – what a fabulous start to the day! Istanbul is an awesome city and it must have looked fantastic in the early morning. Yes, drink LOTS of water and try to get plenty of rest before the next leg of your tour. But enough nagging from me – have fun!

  6. Very sorry to hear about your sunstroke. Did you ever get the hat? still no rain here. Glued to Glasgow on the telly.

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