On our way to Istanbul by way of Marseille.  We took the train from Nice to Marseille, a sailing town which had thousands of boats and sailboats all crammed together.  They have one long dock, the boats are all docked stern first then it looks like an underwater mooring line you pick up?  At first it looked as if they were all anchored until I looked at the rigging more.

They’re certainly crammed in there in a pretty organized system?  Possible if there aren’t 2 knot currents or 25 knot crosswinds while you’re docking.  We stayed in a really small room, the Euro hotel, which had a decent breakfast but it was definitely the kind of hotel room you ONLY went to sleep in.  Quite a difference between the cool apartment in Nice.  Oh, and the elevator didn’t work, we had to lug my heavy bag up 3 steep flights of stairs.  When I say “we” I mean my H.

It was only one night, I could suck it up.  We did another one of those train tours, or should I say runaway train tours?  It took us to their Notre Dame church on the top of a hill overlooking the whole city.  Great view, from there you could see why there are so many boats, the sailing looked phenomenal.  It was a rollercoaster ride getting back down, he was pumping those breaks like crazy.  When we got to the bottom of the hill, people were trying to get out of the train leaving their friends/partners behind if they weren’t able to get out.  If you’re up for a joy ride, it was fun.  Easy to say once we made it back down the hill.


As for anything else, it seemed kind of blah?  Great to see once for a day, or if your a sailor I’d definitely go out.

Leaving Marseille to the airport was another adventure.  I bought a gift for my son’s neighbor that was supposed to just scan at the airport for the elusive, unicorn, VAT tax refund.  Nope.  Customs said to wait until 2 hours before departure…I did and tried again…denied.  They put a stamp on it then told me to put it in the postal box.  Years ago I did that and never got the refund.  As I put the envelope in, I knew I was kissing that $$ goodbye.

That airport, terminal 2, was super disorganized.  We made it on the plane, Pegasus airline, for the 2.5 hour flight then when the food/drinks came along she handed me my diet coke – none of our cards would go through?  She politely took it back.  I was so close to having it!!  Good thing it was a semi-short flight or we were screwed.

The moral is, fly out of Nice!

When we got to Istanbul our DIL’s brother greeted us with his Lakers shirt.  We took the cab from the airport to this gorgeous apartment here, then dinner.  He knows just enough English to help us out, we don’t know any Turkish.

So far, this has been very clean and modern.  We tour today, bringing my camera.  Had to have a down day yesterday after all this travel.

One quick note about shoes…last year I bought some of those Skechers slip ons that might have 1,000 miles on them.  A few weeks ago, at Angel Island, I got them wet getting out of my dinghy to go ashore.  Rinsed them off, good as new.  I did buy another pair just in case.  I used the now spare pair for water shoes getting in & out of the water in Nice with the rocks.

Upon re-packing, wrapped them up in a beach towel thinking it would prevent the smell.  Last minute, decided they had done their job and threw them out.  A wise decision, even the beach towel that harbored them for 10 minutes made the rest of the suitcase smell a little.  Yikes on what would have happened if I’d left those shoes in there.  Highly recommend those travel shoes, they’re around $50.  They sell lavender sachets everywhere in Nice, that countered the smell at least.  My 2 must haves, those Skechers &  lavender sachets.

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