Before I continue the clay-related part of my blog, I'll give a bit of a travel update. I am leaving Turkey for Canada in a couple of days, and can easily continue with the clay stories when I'm back home. Besides, I retrieved some outstanding pieces from the still-400-degree C kiln (yes, that's super hot!!!!) moments before leaving Avanos for the airport, and didn't have time to photograph them before wrapping them in an old bath-towel for their journey.
I arrived last night in Istanbul, to a sultry but breezy evening of about 23 degrees. Sultanahmet Camii (The Blue Mosque) glowed pleasantly in the darkness. I thought I was fortunate being given a room with a bath for the same price as one without, though I knew they would not do that if someone hadn't erred and overbooked the hotel...... Fortunate it seemed, until I realized my only window opens onto the hallway, and not onto the street, so I have virtually no ventilation. No matter: I have a nice fan.
Neither had I counted on the morning noise. And, since the first flights out of Istanbul leave at 6 a.m., the 'morning' starts at about 2:00! The unlocking & locking & banging of doors, thumping of heavy baggage on the marble stairs, and loud voices in English, German, and French (obviously oblivious to the echo-factor in the tiled hallways), permeated my fitful sleep. And, beginning at 7:50, the endless stomping of hiking-boot clad feet on the uncarpeted stairs up to the breakfast room two floors above. At 8:30 I finally gave in and joined the breakfast crowd.
After my pleasant late-night sit on the rooftop watching light little clouds float by the moon, imagine my stunned surprise to see buckets of rain pelting the windows, blown everywhere by the howling wind! Those light little clouds have grown into one huge one, and socked themselves in over the city so tightly that the Sea of Marmara, about half a kilometre away, is completely invisible. Grrrr!! Not a pleasant backdrop for a day of visiting the Istiklal shopping street and sipping tea with my friend Seda. The hotel has umbrellas available; but with the 30 naut 'breeze', I'm not sure how much good an umbrella will do. Now, wistfully, I remember that $2 bargain-store plastic poncho nestled in my drawer of 'travel stuff' back in Gibsons. Another Grrrr!
With the Kapali Çarsi (The Grand Bazaar, but literally translated as "Closed-in Market") being kapali (closed) on Sundays (which today is), I guess I'm off to brave the elements across the Golden Horn to visit my friend. It's not cold, so the wet is more of an issue than the chill. My biggest decision appears to be whether to take the practical approach my mother would have advised, and wear my sensible sneakers to keep my feet (sort of) dry, or give in to the rain and bathe my tootsies in the Istanbul street rains wearing my water-happy flip flops. Or maybe the decision is, "Do I hoof it? or pay for a taxi?.......