11 de julio de 2011

Last day in Istanbul, winter is waiting for us in Sofia. Days 114-118

 Days 114-118:

Galata Tower and the Golden Horn

Sunday, the 12th of December. Eyes opened around 13:30. The room is a mess and our heads are fucking hammered. We left the hostel a bit embarrassed, but fortunately, the staff is used to see this things. In our last day in Istanbul, we visited the Spice Bazaar and Suleymaniye Mosque, and stopped again in Galata bridge, this time to eat some fresh mussels. The day is sunny, but really cold. After eating our last kebap, we continued walking up to Galata Tower, and Istiklal street all straight ahead, to catch the bus at Taksim Square. There were too many people for only 2 buses, so everybody went crazy when the door opened… We had to elbow our way inside, no choice! We landed at Sofia airport around 9:30 pm, and the intense trip finished. 

Galata bridge. Istanbul

But our last days in Bulgaria were not going to be boring… On Monday, once recovered of our Turkish trip, Sofia appeared completely white!! Absolutely covered with snow. Great news for us, because we wanted to see (and feel) the real Bulgarian winter before leaving. Suddenly, going to class turned into a little adventure, with the streets full of snow and ice, and temperatures below zero. Something new for Spanish guys…  

Communism monument in Borisova Gradina, Sofia

During these days we enjoyed the snow in the city. Everybody there is really used to it, but we felt like a child with new shoes. We explored in detail the big park near city centre (Borisova Gradina). It is like a forest, but with bizarre surprises inside: communism monuments, old football stadiums (CSKA Sofia), ice-skating park, deserted restaurants... We also met with some Spanish Erasmus friends to say good-bye (they were leaving) and drink some beers, and precisely then, the Bulgarian TV interviewed us in the street! We appeared in a TV programme in the public channel. That was funny...

Last days in Bulgaria... and time running out to go to Borovets for some snowboarding... We started to plan it with Rositza. Another little events: we visited the superb Laguna (ice-creams and much more) with Eli and Miriam (their favourite!), and on day 15, Tuesday, was Daniela's birthday (Iva's cousin), so we all met with her to have a drink. Hurry up! This experience is ending...

Auto-gifts from Istanbul: 3 Gutis!

And here is our particular TV show... Business All the time!!!

Istanbul. Turkey. Days 112-113

Days 112-113:

In the maelstrom!! Hidden shop. Grand Bazaar
On Friday, we woke up really late, around midday, but this wasn't a surprise after the previous day party. After a breakfast consisting in nutella and olives, we went to the historic centre to visit the sinister water deposit (Basilica Cistern), 1.400 there and still impressive. We also tried to visit Topkapi Palace, but it was closed so we left it for the next day. And, finally, the Grand Bazaar! Yes, some of us were waiting anxiously for this moment … Time to walk around, go mad with all the surrounding objects, haggle a little bit… It’s impossible to cheat those Turkish vendors, although Monroy tried it hard! 

Later, again in the hostel, we played poker in our room while drinking some beers. Finally we didn’t go out, but we promised Pacas to do it the next day, and do it seriously. This man needs night-action.

The Blue Mosque from Haghia Sophia

On Saturday morning, we woke up early and went to Topkapi Palace, where we spent a pair of hours under a bothering rain. In the place we saw some interesting stuff, many valuable treasury from Sultans' times, and outstanding artifacts like The Staff of Moses (yeah, with this thing he divided the Red Sea's water… ), and Prophet Muhammad’s things like his footprint, sword or bow. The Palace is full of History, like the city itself! 

In one of the hundreds of mosques in Istanbul
After that, we walked far to the Mosques heading west, the University, aqueduct… and of course: The Grand Bazaar again! Another round of freaky shopping. Absolute devastation of our wallets.In our way back to the hostel, we stopped at famous Galata Bridge to have dinner in a seafood restaurant. Later we went out to a few different clubs (and some prostitute nightclubs by mistake), with commercial Arabic music. Our night ended in the same rock-club than Friday, and we came back to the hostel at 6 AM, just in time to listen the Islamic pray. Monroy still wanted more party and take a taxi to the other side of the city (he had heard about interesting things there), but we convinced him to calm down and go to sleep. Sgt. Tellez had problems finding  the hostel, and he got lost in the city for a few hours, although luckily he finally arrived. How? Nobody knows!