Dear Travelling buddies
After an easy day we had a very enjoyable dinner last night with Cally's cousin and wife at a nearby restaurant. Asli invited us to bring them back to Hazz for a post-dinner drink - such a gracious and generous hostess - surely exhausted after working all day in her office. Yet we are treated as honoured guests and it all appears effortless.
That's us below - apart from the girl who took the photo, the first at the restaurant - tables set outside along a terrace, a lovely evening for it.
So it was late for me (11pm) when we went to bed - Istanbul only comes alive at 10pm! I’ve usually had 2 and a half hours sleep by then at home. I wrote till midnight - had intended to post Hazz for you today but I don’t have all the photos I want. I’d like to take the day off with your permission, take more photos today.
There was once a virtually independent Genoese city-state looking down on the Golden Horn from the area where Hazz is situated. The Venetians were famous for their entrepreneurial forays all across the East. When the Turks invaded in 1453, the walls of their little enclave came down, leaving only the Galata Tower as a reminder of this Italian occupation.
We had noticed signs of a cellar in this house - stairs going down, heavy green glass insets in the floor to show there is space underneath - but hadn’t thought to ask what it is. Asli told us last night that there is an actual Genoese house under our feet! This house was built on top of it! She is going to show us today. I’m just so excited at the thought.
The painting I’ve used today as a cover is by Paul Guiragossian - part of the permanent collection at the Istanbul Modern. It’s meant to represent hunger, but when I saw it, I connected straight away. It looks a little how I felt when I started this diary. I was sure I could do it, I wanted the challenge, but the child in me said, this may be beyond you. Why put yourself out there? Why expose yourself to criticism?
What I’m trying to say is how much I appreciate your comments on the posts. They are like a warm blanket to the frightened child in me.
Can’t wait to take more photos today! I’ll post Hazz tonight.