Sunday, May 30, 2010

Topkapi Palace

Did all of the requisite tourist things -Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. Running out of time to post but here are some pics. More later...


After stopping over in Munich with a quick visit to the Spaten Haus, we made our way to Istanbul and onto our hotel which is very very random and small...

Day 1 included hiking up to the Galata Tower  Westopped for a quick water break and to look around not seeing the massive group of  german and italian tour groups.  by the time we got to the front, the line was way too long to get to the top.  Since it wasn't a 3 star site we decided to skip it.

Found a great place for lunch and then walked down the main shopping drag.
We met up with Araceli and after drinks on the rooftop, made our way to dinner that was featured on Anthony Bourdain. The restaurant resurrected all of the recipes from the Ottomans and prepared the dishes that way. If I was stuck in the middle ages, I'd definitely be an Ottoman

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Vacation 2010

Heading off today to Turkey and Greece for a much much needed break. Hopefully you'll follow my trip this year and like what I have to say!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Other tourists

OK forgot a few things.

So on the Lima tour there was this guy traveling by himself from the US. Part of our tour consisted of catacombs, which were used more as a cemetary. In the meantime, they excavated and they just have tons of bones. So this guy thought it was so funny to go up to everyone and say - think of how much soup you could make with these bones. Umm, no one laughed. It was so strange

After lunch, Ann and I decided to spend our last couple of hours going to these ruins up the street from our hotel. The only way to see these ruins is to take a tour so they asked if we could wait a few minutes for the English one. So of course we did and it was us and this old couple from Miami. It is like they stepped off the Love Boat. He had on the dark pants with the jacket and the very colorful hankerchief in the pocket. She had the puffiest stiffest hair all dolled up with her linen pants and flashy silk tank top and jacket. They were a piece of work. He would ask ALL of these questions that the tour guide could not answer about beans, plants, the number of people, tools, etc. It was a riot.

Now our taxi is going to be here in 15 minutes so we can be to the airport 3 hours eary. Its a rule. There is a german family in the lobby getting professional pictures taken. I think there is going to be a wedding. It is so random.

Oh and final observation. There are a ton of gringo guys here with peruvian brides. It started with the french canadian on my flight and lima is just chock full of the gringos and peruvian brides.

Lima Tour

OK I think this might be the last post. This morning after a wonderful breakfast at our hotel, we went on a Lima city tour. It was looking a litte ominous as the bus picked us up and we picked up three other couples who were older than my parents and only spoke Spanish. But then we met up with the other groups and got on the big English bus.

We went to all the neighborhoods seeing the olive groves, ruins, the museum that houses all of the pre-columbian art and gold, the St. Francis church and monastary and the catacombs beneath as well as the main square and changing of the guards.

The strangest part were all of the kids. There were school kids everywhere and they kept wanting our signatures. Then all of the sudden, the Asian tourists on our bus started signing the kids arms. So then they would come up to us holding out their pen and arms. It was weird... "Katty y Ana" signed some arms and books... Again, so strange.

Adios de Peru! Off to lunch and then the airport!

Angels and Demons

After walking around Miraflores and checking out the sites and the mall, I was at a loss of things to do. Ann stayed in the hotel and I decided to go see a movie and then grab dinner. I got to the movie theater and between the timing and my lack of translation skills, I had 2 choices. Hannah Montana movie or Angels and Demons. There were other ones playing, but I had no idea what the movies were since I couldn't translate.

Other than the overwhelming smell of cologne in the theater, Angels and Demons was not bad. Much better than the Divinci Code...or it could be because it was in ROme and I knew all of the sites...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

First time flying?

What a strange flight today!!!!

So we get to the airport 2 hours early and pay our fees to get on the plane. From there the characters came in. There were the very loud old Americans traveling in a group. There were the backpackers. There were the locals. Then there were the requisite Asian tourists and one really embraced the Andean culture. Her hair was in 2 buns like pig tails held up by what looked like straw, but upon further inspection was a scrunchie like thing made of rubberbands? Then she had on her pins she got as well as wrapped herself in the traditional Peruvian blanket. (please note that the tourists were not young, trendy Asian, but older)

So we are one of the last people to board the plane because we are in row 3 and they board from back to front. We had an aisle and middle seat. We get in and the Andean Asian tourist is sitting in Ann's seat. Then there is an older Peruvian/Andean woman sitting by the window. So turns out that the Peruvian woman is in the wrong seat and doesn't understand to move so the flight attendent took charge and we figured it out, but he was very concerned with boarding and yanked Ann's backpack off to get us seated. Now the fun started.

First the Peruvian woman is sitting at the window seat and all of her luggage is at her feet. None of it fits underneath the seat in front of her and none of it is in the overhead storage. I guess this is not a problem on LAN Peru with old people because she was never asked to move it. So then she could not figure out her seatbelt. After about 15 tries she got it. THen she saw me reading my book and freaked out and could not find her libra. The belt then came off and the searching started. Dios mio she finally found it. The belt then went on and we are getting ready for take off. The reading then starts. She read her prayer book outloud. We are then in the air and the pilot comes on with his announcement. So she turns to me and starts talking asking me all of these questions. I had NO idea what she was asking me so I just shrugged and looked dumb and pointed to the flight attendent. Then it was snack time. On LAN Peru, you get a snack box and a drink. So Ann and I put our trays down, but Peruvian woman doesn't. She gets her snack and puts it on my tray. Then she gets her coke and again puts it on my tray. I almost started laughing because that has never happened. I've shared a middle tray with someone if there is no one in the middle seat, but I've never had someone just use my tray without asking. So Ann is laughing and I am trying not to and just reading my book.

The reading continues and we are coming into Lima.
What happens? A cell phone rings while we are in air.
Who's is it? The old Peruvian woman's.
What does she do? Answers it and has a conversation after fumbling with it. FOr the record it was on a string around her neck
What happens next? We are still landing and it rings again and she answers it and has a conversation.

It was the most random flying experience I've ever had.