14. a final from Istanbul

We've opted to stay at home this morning rather than shopping the Grand Bazaar and the Spice market again. I just want to soak up Hazz before we go...

Lying here looking at that beautiful view again and musing on things I have forgotten to tell you. Here are just some snippets. First the photo, the description below:

The glasses I so love.

Cally doesn't drink apple and ginger juice, so I drink hers as well as mine each morning.

Kumak served in a silver bowl with a bone handled shovel. Everything on the breakfast table is charming. x

The silver jugs, the sugar bowl and tongs, the decanter....

We took the lazy option yesterday and sat on the top of the big bus which circulates around Istanbul. With the wind in our hair, it was thoroughly enjoyable with an interesting commentary. When we had finished the red tour, we got off the bus to find the blue tour, for which we had also paid. I asked this boy what time it would leave, as we wanted to get water and a bite of street food to eat if possible. Tall and covered in tatoos, he really looked into my eyes, smiled and said, "Don't worry. I wait you."

I thought it was one of the most beautiful expressions I have ever heard. I will never forget it. To you my darling husband, and to all of you my travelling buddies, don't worry, I wait you.

Above: A picture of deliciousness in my bedroom

We happened upon a groom stuffing his bride's dress into a tiny taxi. She was so happy to pose as we squashed into the front seat with our iphones....

I've been meaning to take some food shots. We went out last night to a wonderful restaurant. Hamdi, right near the Spice Bazaar. Asli booked it for us, and we had THE best table in the house, on the 3rd floor terrace, looking straight at the New Mosque lit like a fairytale castle, and all over the Golden Horn. Asli, thank you. We had spoon salad, Turkish pizza, Kofta (the BEST), and lamb mince of some sort. It was fabulous. We were both hungry. Each time I fell on a course and wrecked the plate, I'd say to Cally, oh darn, I forgot to take a photo! Sorry buddies. I'll try to do better with the food!

Istanbul has been lovely. There have certainly been some grumpies and I'm sad to say the wonderful tone of the city is overlaid with unfriendliness from many in the service industries. I prefer not to dwell on them, but to remember the wonderful people - the woman in the tram, a girl who helped Cally buy eye drops in a chemist, a taxi driver who didn't even charge us the full price on the meter and wouldn't take a tip - even though he had taken the most direct route (yes, checking on my app). The bar waiter at the Vault Karakoy who took a pride in remembering our evening order. A darling man who looked after our drinks at the Ciragan Palace. Asli and her staff. The enchantment of Hazz. And of course, the unforgettable mosaics, domes, minarets and the call to prayer. These are the memories I'll keep.