Our second to last day in Turkey. It’s been an incredible trip, but also a long two months. Don’t let anyone tell you that traveling is easy. Other than holing up in a resort for a week, traveling is work. All the planning, logistics, and navigating take time and energy. We had initially planned to rent out our home and travel the world for 5 years after retirement, but we’ve realized that our threshold is 2 months away from home, at least for me. Joe indicated that he could go another month in a different country, but I am missing my memory foam mattress, 600 thread count sheets, and most of all, my leisurely morning routine. I am ready to go home.
We left our Trabzon Airbnb at 6 in the morning to walk across to the airport. This trip involved a lot of walking to bus stations, ferry terminals, and now we can say that we’ve physically walked to an airport to catch a flight.
After several uninspiring Airbnb stays and nights of poor sleep, I decided to book a nice hotel, within a minute walk from the airport bus stop in Taksim, to end this trip with a bang.
Luckily, we didn’t have to wait until after 3 PM to check in. The hotel kindly arranged a room for us at 11AM upon arrival.
Then we were off to grab lunch at Çiya, where we had our very last meal before leaving Istanbul 5 weeks ago. A familiar walk along Iskatlal street down to the Karaköy ferry terminal to get across to Kadiköy brought us back in time. The only difference was the noticeable armed police presence. It’s unclear why, but it was unsettling and further convinced me that it was time for us to return home.
Stuffed and satisfied, we took the ferry back to Eminönü to find a very specific tea set for Juin. I recall seeing the tea set in the Grand Bazaar 6 weeks ago, but for some reason couldn’t find it this time around. Several shopkeepers told us that it was an old design and very hard to find. Someone even walked us from shop to shop looking for it. Finally, a handbag shopkeeper called an acquaintance of his, who knew exactly where to find it and brought us to Ali, who then sold us his very last one.
We swung by the Süleymaniye Mosque on our way back to the hotel, as our last visit was rather perfunctory.
One more day…