Woke to a wet grey and very cold day here in Istanbul.
Usual drill for breakfast then got organised and decided to walk up to the Topaki Palace (hoping the "maybe tomorrow" from yesterday meant today and it was going to be open.
Got about halfway there and I realised I'd left those cursed Museum Cards behind. Agreed with Dad he'd carry on and meet me where the poppy festival display was in front of Haghia Sophia. I ran back to hotel got cards, and a disposable umbrella as by this time it was pelting down and hurried back to ensure Dad was ok and not too wet etc. A little concerned when I got to the pre-agreed meeting spot that Dad wasn't there but assumed he'd stopped to look at a stall or was in toilet or something. Any way cutting a long story short after about half an hour and no sign of him I was getting increasingly concerned, again Hayley's words "you won't lose Granddad will you" ringing in my ears!!
Fortunately, just as I was considering returning to the hotel, he appeared wet, somewhat bedraggled but perhaps not as contrite as I would have liked. He'd decided; why wait at the agreed spot when he could stop half way there and meet me on the way past. Only problem is despite my passing by (we've revisited the sight to ascertain exact positions and routes) he didn't see me. Needless to say cell phone was off! Anyway I think we were both relieved and off we went to the Palace.
Despite being wet and cold the palace was splendid. The sheer scale and beauty of the various spaces and the deep history got us both in.
Another added bonus of the palace is they did accept the Museum Cards and because we visited everything we are now about $5 ahead on the deal. Thank goodness as I was developing a major credibility issue around the bargain these cards were going to be!
After the palace there was the most spectacular thunder storm and hail which caused us to shelter in a doorway for a while. We then found a "self service" (meaning you pointed out what you wanted, no menu) kebab place and had a most enjoyable and dry lunch.
After lunch it was still raining so decided to go riding the trams and took one to the end of the line over the bridge on the other side of the Golden Horn. Walked up to the palace there but alas "no Museum Cards here" so since it was getting late and we were getting cold decided to wander back to tram and ride it home.
Had a great pizza and pasta meal just up the road and an early night back to the hotel, hence the early blog for today.
Both getting increasingly excited about the trip to Gallipoli on Friday. Off tomorrow morning to buy some supplies to take although thanks to Marie's planning we do have a good supply of energy bars and scroggin.