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Today the 5 became 4. Aubrey’s had to head home early as a jury’s being sworn-in (long story not for me to tell, but he works in the legal profession), so our numbers have shrunk. This morning I let the girls go off on their own for some female time whilst I wandered solo with the camera.

Having seen the antiquities yesterday I’ve stayed ‘our’ side of the river to wander uphill to Taksim in search of one of the vintage tram routes. It’s been an interesting trip as I can go at my pace ans stop and stare as I will. This side of the city has a different feel. There’s a bit of a boho air in some parts that belie the current conservatism of the government – but that’s capital cities for you. There’s some fascinating architecture – and cats. Lots and lots of cats. They’re one of the reasons I like the place. A city where people think cats are cool can’t be all bad!

Eventually I tracked (literally) the trams. Or I should say tram as there’s only one running. It’s difficult to get a decent picture of it due to the preponderance of people who like to have their picture stood in the way of things, but here it is…

Tram 410 at Taksim.


Having worn down a fair bit of shoe-leather I’ve stopped to rest my weary feet and have a beer close to home. I’m sat outside a bar in the backstreets enjoying an Efes and listening totheir choice of music. Right now it’s Johnny Cash singing ‘House of the rising sun’ which brings back a few memories.

I’m having a fantastic wander with the camera, people and architecture spotting (as well as the odd tram, obviously!) earlier I passed the Greek consulate which was indulging in some top trolling by flying both their national flag and that of the EU.Remember when ‘vote leave’ ran their lying campaign claiming Turkey was about to join the EU and 80 million Turks would be flooding into the UK? It was total bollocks of course, but it did appeal to some Britons racism and xenophobia. Truth is, Turkey is further away than ever to joining the UK due to the actions of the Erdoğan government.

Politicans aside, I have to admit I’m really enjoying Turkey. I’ve found people really friendly. Sure, in the tourist areas you get the usual salesmanship and hassle from a few people but once you get away from those areas it’s far more relaxed. I love street photography and Istanbul’s a wonderful place to practise that art because there’s so much life on the streets.

To give you an idea of how relaxed things are here, the bar I stopped at has two parts – on opposite sides of the street. The staff consisted of one chap with very little English and his young son, aged about 12. I was the only customer, so dad wandered off to do some shopping, leaving the young lad in charge of both establishments. When I’d finished my beer and wanted to pay there was only the young lad there, who then had to shoot off to find dad, leaving me in possession of two bars! Here they are…


I’ve had to nip back to the hotel as I realised I’d left my phone charging cable behind, so despite having a power-pack with me I’d no way of connecting the bloody thing! As I was back at home I’ve taken a few minutes to download the camera, so here’s the first of the street photographs. This guy was happy for me to take his picture, but you have to wonder who owns whom? A minute before the cat was sitting across his shoulders…


Here’s another shot I took earlier of the fishermen on the Galata bridge. There’s dozens of them lining each side and they hook a huge amount of fish.

I met up with the girls a few hours ago in time for dinner at what became our ‘go to’ restaurant – the Afrodit on the harbour front in Karakoy. We discovered it a few days ago when we popped in for a drink and to admire the views across the harbour from the top floor. Yesterday we tried the food and we enjoyed it so much we went back today. Not only is the food excellent, the staff are also. Oh, and the views across the Bosporus and the shipping lanes are brilliant – as you can see from this shot taken with a 400mm lens.

Tony Smith is a Bulk Carrier sailing under the flag of Marshall Islands. Her gross tonnage is 33044 and deadweight is 56498. The ship was built in 2011.

Right, time to bring things to an end. We’ve had a wonderful time here in Istanbul but we fly back to the UK tomorrow. I’kk try and blog about our return and talk more about Istanbul when we get back.

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