Home Dilmun to Dublin Tour Diary Turkey It's the end of the road for me
It's the end of the road for me
Written by Ammar Hammad   
Thursday, 12 June 2008 23:07

Dinner with Defne, Elvan and Ahmet

It's been a wild three weeks since our journey started. There's been something new to experience everyday, places to see and people to meet in what has seemed like a never ending journey. I was fortunate to be chosen as a photographer for this amazing trip. It was definitely worthwhile and exciting. While it could not be at par with other events in terms of grandiosity, the whole trip was certainly a blast

Today I leave Friendship Arabia, though I will catch up with Ali on his way back from Britain, sometime around mid July.

We had only one full day pencilled in for Istanbul and today was that day. We tried to make the best of it. 

Early in the morning we visited the two grand mosques - Ayasofya and Sultan Ahmet (better known as the Blue Mosque). These two structures are just magnificent. The sheer size and the amount of fine detail is just mind boggling. We couldn't imagine how they were built with tools so much more primitive than what we have today.

Later on we went to Topkapi Sarayi which was the early Ottoman Sultans' Palace that has been turned into a museum that held their belongings of clothing, carriages, jewelery, etc, as well as some rare artifacts that date back to 20th century BC! We were there for about three hours (not nearly long enough) before we headed to the Grand Bazar which looked similar to the one in Damascus.

We returned to our hotel to rest for an hour or so and then got ready for a dinner hosted by Defne Misirli, Gulf Air's GM in Istanbul, and S. Elvan Guler, sales coordinator. Also present was Ali's friend Ahmet Karamisir, a business development director who met Ali during his previous tour as well.

The dinner was on a rooftop restaurant covered with glass overlooking the city. As the sun set, the company we were with combined with the beautiful setting  made it feel like a very special night, one we will always remember when we think of Istanbul.

Parting (snap)shot... View from the rooftop restaurant in Istanbul. Click on image for larger view.  

So thank you, Istanbul, and thank you, Gulf Air.

It has been a great three weeks for me, and as I leave Ali to continue with his tour, I can't help thinking I'm going to miss this. I can't wait to get back on the road again, until then, goodbye.