Well, Day three in Istanbul opened up cloudy and threatening. Rain and wind were on the schedule for the day. I wandered about the city walking and taking the metro system around parts of the central city I hadn’t had a chance to see. I wandered down through the Park around Topkapi Palace, discovered walls covered in beautiful street art, some of the best examples of positive graffiti I’ve seen yet. These fotos are from the outskirts of Topkapi palace:

Street art outside Topkapi

Street Art Istanbul

I bought some popcorn and enjoyed sitting on the Bosporus feeling the cool sea breeze while sunlight filtered down through the trees into the carefully manicured flower gardens. One of the Gardens was being assembled and the boxes of flowers waiting distribution was a great picture oppotunity:

Flowers awaiting distribution Topkapi Gardens

The view of sprawling Istanbul infront of me, gardens and grass on all sides, the breeze and Turkish people wandering about… wonderful. some of the muslim women wandered through the park, stealing flowers from the gardens and then trying to sell them to lovers who were sprinkled throughout the park. the police far from stopping them would blow a whistle in warning and make a threatening movement but wouldn’t spend the effort to actually prevent the harvest.

I took this foto of a group of the women resting and wrapping their flowers in tin foil:

Women gathering flowers

Then I headed back to Sultanahmet and found an internet cafe did a foto upload and talked to a friend of mine who lives in Istanbul. she was sick and couldn’t meet up.

Foto upload complete I headed out into Istanbul once again. then walking along the side of the street I made an impromptu decision to head into a restaurant and have a nice lunch. I got an Adana Kabap with a salad and enjoyed the passing populace. I sat drinking the free chai tea and interspersing sweet apple tea into the mix.

From there I followed my instincts and made a decision on the spot to head to Efes. I hiked back up to the University and across to my hotel, passing one of the cutest street merchant gimmicks I’ve seen yet:

Bunny Fortune!

I grabbed my bags, checked out of the hotel and made my way back to the bus booking station. I booked a bus and then after paying discovered that my travel agent had forgotten to book my ticket for the transit bus that would take me direct to Istanbul’s Otogar. I had him write out the directions using local transport and set off immediately to make the hour and a half journey to the Otogar. I found my way by tramway and metro to the Otogar. Stocked up on Stuffed mussels and then boarded the 12 hour ride to Selcuk – south of Izmir and prepared to see Ephasus.