April 2nd - April 17th, 2014 We left Rome for Instanbul via Turkey's Pegasus airlines. It was an easy trip with thanks to the woman at check-in that gave us a 'wink' on our slightly overweight bags. However I should note that I breezed through security with a forgotten, full to the brim water bottle in my carry-on. Hmm. Seems like a part of the world that might have cared about that sort of thing. Upon arrival we were directed to a window where we were required to purchase a visa for 20 Dolars (see sign below) before heading to customs clearance. Seemed a little less than official.
|At least we got lovely stamps in our passports!|
|A delicious traditional Turkish breakfast. So healthy - and so good!|
|Our favorite lunch - maybe not quite as healthy but just as good!|
|Pomegranates waiting to be juiced. Back to healthy!|
|Just step over me please.|
As many of you know we lived in London from 1986 to 1991 when Michael took a job with the sports management company ProServ. We moved from Seattle as Chris, Mary and Kelly turned 2, 4, and 6 and Alistair joined us a few months later when he was 14. We bought a house in a village a short distance from Hampton Court (about 15 miles from London) called Sunbury-on-Thames. Our house, No. 3 Willowbank, was built in 1789 and sat just across the road from the River. It was an amazing experience to live there and to raise children there - but it would not have been the same without a series of Au Pairs that helped with our hectic lives. Michael was working and traveling like crazy and I was freelancing to begin with as a copywriter and then worked for two different ad agencies before starting a freelance company of my own called Willowbank Design.
We had several girls live with us over those years and they helped with the kids and running the house when not attending English classes. They all had their benefits and made an impression on our lives - but until Fatma and then Sevim arrived from Instabul for a year each, we didn't know that so much love and lasting friendship would come from those relationships.
|Sevim with the kids on her last day in 1991|
We enjoyed a fabulous family meal at her home with her mother, brother, his wife and their two children. Sevim is an excellent cook and while she lived with us we had a great time in the kitchen together. On this occasion she spoiled us with all of our favorite dishes she made in Sunbury - Dolma, lemon chicken soup, Kofte, Pilaf, her amazing apple pie and more. It was so nice to be hosted in her home and see her with her family.
|Sevim with her Turkish spread and dear brother Ishmail|
|On board the Bosphorus tour with english audio tours loaded|
|Enjoying the day with one of our Turkish daughters|
|Our other beautiful daughter, Fatma. We both cried often!|
Fatma and Sungur live on the Asian side of Istanbul. We took a quick ferry ride across the Bospherus and they met us at the boat. I don't think I have ever been hugged harder! We took a drive through the area along the coast and then up to Adile Sultan Sarayi, a huge, elegant restored palace that is now a special events venue and museum. It housed an elegant restaurant with an expansive view of the European side of Instabul and the water. The lunch was typically turkish and delicious. We had so much catching up to do that we sat there for three hours!
|Four very full friends after our long and lovely lunch!|
|Both Sevim and Fatma had tons of photos from their time with us.|
|The ladies - Fatma, me and Tugba (pronounced Tuba) in a selfie|
|One of the many tulip gardens in contrast with the ancient buildings|
|The Grand Bazaar was a maze of merchandise. I haggled for a silver chain|
|Preparing to visit the The Sultan Ahmed Mosque|
|Skewers of lamb and peppers being grilled for a Icli Kofte dinner.|
|Press coverage the day after the Derby. So fun to watch.|
We are looking forward to visiting Sarajevo and seeing first hand the aftermath of the war there. Michael already has a football match lined up as well! I read the Cellist of Sarajevo in anticipation and it is a great read.
Debbie and Michael Campbell
The Senior Nomads