Istanbul, gateway to the orient

Istanbul, gateway to the orient,

There is so much to tell that we’ll leave it to the first impressions. Okay

the campsite we are on is horrible. The facilities do not meet western

standards as the showers are just rusty pipes and haven’t been cleaned for

centuries. But that is what we expected and as long as there is fresh water

coming out of the pipes, we are alright. The campsite is situated on the

Marmara sea coast. Sounds fabulous untill we tell you that all sewers of

Istanbul are dumped in this sea and that the campsite smells like a toilet

that… guess what, hasn’t been cleaned for centuries. So that was our first

impression. We went into the city center and went directly to the blue

mosque. Yes, now this is impressive. The huge mosque decorated with blue

tiles is absolutely gorgeous. Even more impressive but also very expensive

is the Aya Sofia. Although being renovated, this church of divine wisdom

(built in 527 ad) is an amazing place.

Ofcourse we had to visit the grandbazaar as well. 4000 little shops of which

most are catering for tourist. Still a great place to wander around for

hours, especially in the back alleys. We decided to head to the Bosphorus

that connects the sea of Marmara with the Black sea. Its was foul, the

stench horrible and by the look of it extremely polluted. We wondered if the

restaurants who were selling fresh fish got it out of these waters. We

walked around a bit and decided to update the website. Unfortunately this

wasn’t possible due to a powercut in the area. We headed for a kebab meal

and then back to our beloved campsite. If you would ask us what we think of

Istanbul…. we don’t know yet.