29.09.2010 28 °C
Well here we are back in Istanbul, kind of funny being here 3 months later and reflecting on the past 3 months. How has this trip changed us as a family. I think we are closer, more tolerant and more patient. The kids realise the world is a bigger place than their 5km radius and that people have different beliefs, cultures, languages, poverty and disability. We have arrived today at our apartment in busy middle to lower class Istanbul, with the rubbish, cats, and noise that shocked us 3 months ago, now we just smile and get on with it. Matt pulled the curtains and found they are about a foot too narrow - we probably would have jumped up and down three months ago - instead we think Oh well we'll see the sunrise. We are keen to hear peoples impressions of how the kids have changed - to us they seem more confident and probably more resourceful. The only thing we wonder is how they will cope walking down the street as normal everyday kids - they are treated like movie stars here with constant hugs and kisses.
Home sweet home our apartment is first floor third window from the right
What are we looking forward to apart from the obvious catching up with family and friends. I'm looking forward to a Latte, a cold glass of chardonnay, and the space and quiet of home. Matt is keen for a glass of milk, a game of golf and a catch up with is soccer mates. Holly her Polly Pockets and My Little pony, a room of her own and sausages at school on Friday. Toby is going to give his cars a hug and his Ben 10 sword and his mate Jack. He'll also finally have made it to his Birthday which has been in his sights since the day we left. And dear sweet Bellie I dare say is looking forward to her own cot and safe railings on veranda's. You should see her cot tonight it is a standard portacot - but it has shrunk and is around half the size. She can't even stretch out in it so I am calling this one the "matchbox". I remember my Nana telling me how they would sleep the babies in an open drawer of a scotch chest - well I reckon Bellie would just about handle that now. Check out her bed blog I have added a pic.
We'll miss Turkish Bread
This morning we have tackled the bazaar again. That place seems to suck the life out of our children within 20 mins. It's the noise, the crowd, and the lights think it just overloads their senses. This is our last shopping blast before returning home. We have travelled pretty light up until now due to the logistic difficulties of carrying it as well as our kids around. The kids are happy they got their promised toy each costing us a total of $17. So this is it - the final few days of a very successful trip.
This is how light we have travelled - up until now!
Man we have seen some sights (It's alright Poppa Bellie didn't run up to this one saying "Poppa Poppa")
Wednesday 29th September - leaving day
Matt has done a few sums for us. We have travelled 4100km within Turkey by air and road. We have visited 8 towns and called 15 different places "home". We have drunk 500 litres of bottled water, and only two bottles of wine! Had nearly 5000 visits to our blog and in 86 days we have had only 6 hours of rain over 3 days. Finally - we have had only resorted to fast food (Burger King and MacDonalds) 3 times.
Today - our last day we visited the beautiful Aya Sofia (which I missed last time as Bellie was sleeping) and returned to the kids favourite magical Underground Water Cistern. Two out of three kids are coughing and snotting - they just want to challenge their Mum and Dad on that flight. We leave at 4pm spend 4 hrs flying to Dubai, wait for 2 hours then 7 hour flight to Singapore for 2 hours before another 7 hour flight to Brisbane where we arrive at 1am and spend the next day and night before flying home Saturday.
Well farewell Turkey - it has been amazing - better than we could have ever imagined.
And thank you to all who have read our blog your interest and comments of support have been overwhelming and a really lovely link to home. Keep an eye on the blog still - I'll do one when we've been home for a week and tell you what we think.
This morning at the Underground Water Cistern