So a day that began with baklava for breakfast ended with a post-dinner hot chocolate and a chat about Miss McGahey, Miss Cree and Miss Moir with another AGHS old girl in a rooftop bar overlooking the Bosphorus. I take these things for granted now.
It was the last day of our Insight Vacations tour of Turkey, sadly. We did 2,850km on good roads, in a comfortable coach, with an excellent guide and saw so, so much that even though 10 days is nothing for such a huge country (especially with two of them spent at Gallipoli) I feel that I’ve got a good feel for the place now and can consider it properly visited, if not actually done.
Apart from the usual comfort stops and lunch at a service area (much pleasanter than it sounds), most of the day was spent driving from Ankara to Istanbul, listening to Barçin tell stories, or snoozing, or web-surfing – or, indeed, looking out of the window at farmland, forest, industry and suburbs. The first real event of the day was a Bosphorus cruise back to the Old City – yes, we did that before the tour began, but this was on a fancier boat and, really, you’d have to be a total curmudgeon not to enjoy looking again at castles and palaces, beautiful waterfront residences old and new (and all expensive – one recently sold for USD 125 million), tankers, ferries, fishing boats and launches, and crowds of people enjoying waterside restaurants.