Sorry, no pictures this time - I didn't even bring my camera. It was a brief trip to drop Otto off on likely his last unaccompanied minor trip internationally (he is flying to Ottawa by himself in 10 days, so that will be a good test!). Otto and I spend the first 2 days together wandering, eating, sleeping and trying to watch a few last episodes of Lost...although we didn't have time to finish the series. We went up to Taksim square which was closed last year because of the riots/protests.
I then spent almost 3 days there on my own doing more wandering and more sight seeing. I visited the Topkapi Palace to finish up my check list of all the 'major' sites in old town. After that I just wanted to hit the less traveled path - although at this time of year, I doubt that exists. I took a ferry to the Prince's Islands which was lovely and then did a day hike on the main island (Buyukada) which has essentially no motor vehicles on it. I walked/urban hiked to the top of the hill where there is a very old church. The next day I wandered around the markets and checked out the Rustam Pasha and Suyleimanye mosque. Eating plenty of good food along the way.
Now I am back in Bishkek making my final arrangements to leave for good. It will be a busy couple of weeks as I prepare to pack out and hand over the health unit to my replacement. I wish I had time to do a bit more climbing and hiking, but that just won't happen. I will try to fit in a weekly massage until I leave.
Hopefully the next time you check this blog, the background will change as Otto and I prepare to move to Bucharest, Romania.