I last left you, dear reader, on a BA flight from heathrow. The air is dry, the accents crisp, and the inflight food is completely unsympathetic to one with a lactose allergy.
My carefully selected seat got no view of the old town during landing, but soon enough I had got a visa, crossed the border, passed customs, and taken a series of metros into the city. Alighting at Sultanahmet station I started wading through memories of my trip in the winter of January 2008. The climate was warmer!
I walked through the hippodrome between the Blue Mosque and Aya Sofia down into the backpacker district, and eventually located the Bahaus hostel, checked in, and left to search for J. I found him in the next street and together we walked to Eminonu, ate some kebabs for dinner, and soaked up the atmosphere.
The next day we visited a few mosques, Aya Sofia, the basilica cistern, the grand bazaar, the spice bazaar, and the Galata tower. Interspersed were episodes of epic Turkish dessert consumption. Sadly the Topkapi palace museum is closed on Tuesday.
That evening we took a bus to Canakkale, crossing the Dardanelles and meeting our CSer A at about 10:30pm. He took us to a converted inn where we chatted with his friends until midnight, then retires.
Next morning we took a bus to Troy and checked out the remnants of about a dozen cities stacked on top of each other. From the hill there was a clear view of the Scamander river, the dardanelles and Gallipoli. The archaeological remnants were pretty cool too. Returning to Canakkale we took a bus to Izmir, then Cesme after a 2 minute stop! In Cesme we found a Pansiyon, ate sheep stomach for dinner, and soaked up the evening vibe on the main street.
Next morning we woke early to buy tickets, returned to the pansiyon for our last Turkish breakfast, and then mooched through town to the ferry terminal, crossed the border with a quick passport stamp, changed money and waited on the dock for our ferry. The Greek island of Chios waited across the straight, and not long after we were on our way to the birthplace of democracy.
UPDATE: Photos! https://picasaweb.google.com/105494084231616659850/Turkey2011