(David writes) I know that Lisbon isn't officially part of our itinerary, but the 12-hour layover gives us a chance to catch up.
Well, the Islamic phase of our trip is over: we loved Istanbul and Marrakech was crazy in a scary and lovable kind of way. Internet access has been patchy in both places, so we are behind with posting our photos. With faster Net access we would have uploaded a short video that P took of Jemaa-el-Fna, the main square in the Medina in Marrakech. It reminded Polly of the craziness at the Munich Oktoberfest – but it happens every night in Jemma-el-Fna: market stalls, major food stalls, snake charmers, beggars, hawkers, Berbers in their stunning blue robes, women mainly with their heads covered, some in full burkhas and noise, noise, noise. Anyhow, click here for the video; see if it gives you a feel for the place.
Sorry for the loooong delay, but I'm glad to say that we at last have posted the final set of China photos – those from our visit to the Forbidden City. Click here to view them.
The first of our Istanbul photos are from the wonderful underground world of the Basilica Cistern, which was apparently used in the 1963 James Bond film, From Russia with Love. Our photos are here; we love this set and hope that you agree.
We have noticed a regular pattern in our stops: Day 1 we're generally recovering and wondering where we'll eat in the evening. Day 2 we walk around to get a feel for the new city and generally try to understand how to use the public transport system. Day 3 is when the place starts to make sense and we know how to walk home in the dark from our chosen restaurant. By Day 4, we're feeling like locals and giving advice to (other) tourists. Day 5 is when we're sorry that we didn't get to see everything and we decide that we really like the place (except perhaps Beijing, I'm not sure that we "liked" it).
In about 15 minutes, we'll head out of the lounge to board our 11:25pm flight to Rio de Janeiro ("January Bay", I believe). We get there at 7:25am tomorrow and hope to be collected by a hotel car. This stop is supposed to be where we relax and "recover" from the trip. We'll see :)
Best wishes to all and thanks for following us.