Friday, June 27, 2008
One of those rare perfect days
The Blue Mosque stands over bazaar in Istanbul
Every so often, just when you are sure, life is just terminally depressing you get a day so perfect and wondrous, well, you want to keep on being alive. Wednesday (6/25/08) was one of them.
We got into the Istanbul airport Wednesday night just as Turkey scored a goal and evened the score with Germany, a football feat that had people in the airport cheering, pumping fists, and slapping each other on the back. Outside taxis and buses began honking and you could just about feel the blare of TVs across the city.
Unhappily Germany pulled out a last-minute third score and won, but that didn't spoil an auspicious beginning.
The trip to the President Best Western Hotel in the Sultanahmet section of the old city took about 40 minutes and I was nodding off at the end. We'd flown after a full day at the office. But when we got to the hotel at about midnight Drew proposed a "short walk." Four of us walked past the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sofia, around the Hippodrome, the home of Ali Pasha, the old Forum, past the Grand Bazaar and carpet stores, shops and donor kabob shops. It was warm, but not stifling and the streets were practically empty except for a street repair crew, and some vendors. Drew who loves Istanbul and is a student of Byzantine history played Cicero; Dino and Darijo had never been here and so were as entranced as a reporter and cop can be and we are in one of the world's most beautiful cities.