While in Istanbul, We Saw...
Fri, August 3, 2012 at 5:56 AM
The Untethered Folks

...something old and something new. Rowan had stayed in a real flophouse from which many of his American Express Traveler's Checks were liberated from the front desk's safe, so memories of this Euroasian city are mixed. Now there's no more TCs, front-desk safes, and much of the seediness is gone, replaced by trams, cats, and parks.

The new tram system outside the old Pudding Shop.In the image above, you see the new light-rail tram going by the Pudding Shop, made famous in the movie Midnight Express, where the shop looks rundown and seedy. In reality, it's just a cafeteria, and always has been one. But when Rowan was there in 1974, the tram system had been removed eight years earlier, only to return seven years ago.

The Seven Cats of Trash Bin StreetI'm not going to claim our hotel is on Trash Bin Street, but I think I got an argument for calling it Cat Street. We've been feeding the cats wherever we go but this sample of a mere seven cats (can you spot them all?) is but a fraction of street felines near our hotel. (I'm sure Shirl's Daily Snapshot will have more views of the Hitchcockian amount of fur inhabiting our neighborhood.) Remarkably, for as many cats as there are walking around, climbing trees, and at your feet while eating dinner, they are well treated and love to be petted, a little trait from Islam. (Anyone know the origin of why Muslims love cats? Leave a comment.)

Eat, Play, then Sleep in the ParkWhile coming in, the first sign Istanbul has undergone a transformation is the park that goes on and on along the waterway. Flowers, paths, and people make this place inviting.

Article originally appeared on Follow Rowan & Shirl Around the World (http://www.untethered.us/).
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