Day 7 Saturday June 1
Istanbul – Day 2
It is 2 pm and we have left Istanbul and are working our way through the Sea of Marmara and down the Turkish coast to Kusadashi/Ephesus. Temp is 73F, winds are 14kts from the NE, pressure is 29.787 inHg, we are on a heading of 258 deg at 20 kts. The schedule is to arrive in Kusadashi at 10 am tomorrow. You wouldn’t believe how crowded the port was when we left. I took some pictures, but they will probably come out as blobs and blurs on the horizion.
This morning we had a cruise sponsored tour. We met in the ship’s theater at 8, got our little ID stickers so that we wouldn’t get lost and boarded the bus about 8:15. The first stop was at another dock on the Golden Horn to get on our ferry for the Bosporus cruise. We didn’t go all the way to the Black Sea, just 45 -60 minutes up the straits. I think we were still in Istanbul. According to the different guides there are 12 million people in Istanbul or 16 million or 20 million. Take your pick. All the buildings come right down to the water. Apparently there is no tide in the Bosporus.
After we returned to the dock we boarded the bus to make a ‘short’ stop at a jewelry store. The guide made it very clear that this was included by the cruise line, not him. This was one of the stores that gives kickbacks to the cruise line. By the time we finished with that, we had only 45 min in the spice market; not nearly enough time. I bought some spices and tea and a big box of Turkish Delights. We need to have a party when I get back. We made it back to the ship about 12:10, so no one was left behind. Precisely at 1 pm the captain cast off and we started out of the harbor.
About 12:30 the captain had made a special announcement that at about midnight last night (Thursday) that the security forces has tear-gassed a protest up by the government center. As a result, the outside areas of the ship were closed off due to the tear gas drifting down our way. However, that was all over and we could safely enjoy the exterior spaces today. We had heard a little about protests, but no one seems to know who is protesting what. Pat said he was out about 10 pm last night and the sky was full of helicopters shining searchlights down into the city.
After lunch, I went back to my room and straightened things. I took about a 2 hour nap. Joe & Linda came onboard with a cold and I think they gave it to me. I have been taking stuff but I still feel achy. Went up to the café for a cup of tea about 4 pm; and sweets, too. Dinner was the same as always. I am getting a little blasé about the dining room, although it is always nice to have someone cook for you. I may stop eating dinner there. I can get lighter fare on the buffet line.
It is only 9:30, but I am hitting the sheets. We get into port at 10 am; maybe I’ll sleep in.