TAKSIM: HOME OF THE PROTESTS AND SHOPPING

I moved to the Taksim area via of the ferry and metro. I had visited several times, but I really wanted to immerse myself into the neighborhood. I was here just an hour and I realized it was a great move. I collect bike themed stuff and I found this awesome shop,
TOSBAA. The site is in Turkish, but you can click along the bottom of the site to see some really fun bike themed stuff.

20140103-135141.jpgI BOUGHT THIS MEMORABLE BOOK END, (professional bike walker) I also bought: a coffee cup, cooking apron, t-shirt and shopping bag.
I walked to meet Andre and friends at the X-ist gallery where the art show was. I found myself on the other side of a canyon, but have no fear,

20140103-140612.jpgISTANBUL’S MANY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS INCLUDED THIS GONDOLA RIDE ACROSS THE CANYON ( saved me 1/2 hour of walking around)
While walking through Taksim Square I could see

20140103-141401.jpgTHERE WAS STILL A STRONG POLICE PRESENCE, DISCOURAGING ANY FUTHER PROTEST IN THE SQUARE.
I was recommended to stay at the CHILL OUT HOSTEL. Not all Hostels are created equal. I was now at the party hostel, but too lazy to move, I endured. They had a kitchen, so I could cook an American breakfast that I shared with everyone.

20140103-142830.jpgEGGS, POTATOES, VEGGIES, CHEESE AND SAUSAGE There was a homeless women staying there she looked like she hadn’t eaten in weeks. She ate more than 2 times as much as me, I was happy to share. The Hostel was somewhat in dis-repair.

20140103-143230.jpgTHIS ENTRANCE WAS JUST A SAMPLE OF WHAT AWAITED INSIDE I chose a nice 8 bed dorm that had only 2 people in it. That didn’t last long, 4 student’s showed up.

20140103-143911.jpg THAT’S MY BED, THEY HAD THEIR STUFF COVERING THE “ENTIRE” FLOOR, I ASKED FOR JUST A SIMPLE PATH TO MY BED AND THAT’S WHAT I GOT, A PATH! The Hostel owner offered to move me to another room I told him after 8 months of travel I can endure almost any situation.

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THE OWNER GOT US IN THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT WITH THIS CHRISTMAS TREE

20140103-150736.jpgTHE HERO OF THE HOSTEL “HOUSE CLEANING”
It doesn’t snow often in Istanbul, but lucky me

20140103-151251.jpgMY TENNIS SHOES DIDN’T WORK, SO I HAD TO BUY SOME BOOTS

20140103-151438.jpgMY VISIT TO THE MODERN ART MUSEUM
Walking can again show you a city close up.

20140103-152533.jpgLIKE THIS BIKE THEMED ART
I love to travel there is so much to see

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I left myself a couple of days to re-visit some favorite spots in Istanbul. Hush Hostel in Kadikoy, you win. I’ve read there are between 13.5 and 20 million people in Istanbul, it looks and feels more like the 20 million! The 3 to 4 day Hush Hostel kitchen remodel is into 15 days now and not finished. I re-visit my favorite restaurant, Tonton Efendi. Lucky for me Selahattin’s daughter is there,

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HER NAME IS MELIKE AND WELL, ME LIKE TOO!, SHE’S AS FUN(NY) AS HER (step) DAD
You can’t drink the water from the tap in Istanbul. The Chill Out Hostel had a filter on their drinking faucet. When you shower, you can smell the chlorine. Protecting your water supply from contamination is so important..

20140103-194339.jpgIT’S SEEMS A LOT CHEAPER TO PROTECT YOUR WATER SUPPLY THAN TO DO THIS!
I’ve said I was Kebabed out, well I’m not alone

20140103-194639.jpgKEBABS ARE TURKEY’S AMERICAN HAMBURGER, TIME FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT
A city this big needs a comprehensive recycling program, what’s going on is ridiculous.

20140103-200239.jpgPEOPLE JUST THROW RECYCLABLES AWAY, THEN THE RECYCLERS HAVE TO PICK THROUGH THE GARBAGE TO RETRIEVE RECYCLABLES.
Spring will be in full bloom in Istanbul.

20140103-201054.jpgSPRING BULBS BEING PLANTED

20140103-202052.jpgANDRE’ TOOK THIS PICTURE WITH MY CAMERA WHEN I WAS PASSED OUT, (Hush Hostel)
I was warned about the rug salesman of Turkey, their nothing compared to Morocco. They tried a few times with me but after Morocco, I know all the tricks. I still bought a few things.

20140103-202629.jpgTHE SHOES

20140103-202809.jpgAND PURSES WERE BEAUTIFUL

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ONE LAST PHOTO IN FRONT OF YET ANOTHER MOSQUE, THEY’RE EVERYWHERE!
I bought the transit pass, that you can re-charge as needed. I still had some $ left on mine

20140103-203555.jpgSO I SOLD IT BACK TO THE GUY I BOUGHT IT FROM, THAT WAS EASY
I stay 2 more nights at the Almina Hotel, “Best Breakfast Buffet in Istanbul”, a great send off. At the airport our furniture receives the special treatment.

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FRAGILE HANDLE WITH CARE
It’s been a great month in Istanbul, but Slovenia get ready I’m coming.
Thanks for reading
Jeff
Turkey Photos are HERE
NEXT? WHAT WAS MY FAVORITE COUNTRY? good question

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PERSONALLY I WAS TRYING TO GET AWAY FROM AMERICA, I MAY END UP FURTHER AWAY THAN I EVER IMAGINED!

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