New Years Day 2006
Today's Tuesday Travel Flashback takes us back to Istanbul where I celebrated the long New Year's weekend in 2006. Here during the New Year's holiday gifts are wrapped, be-ribboned and exchanged between friends and families much like we do during Christmas. The streets were filled with families going to and fro with brightly wrapped packages under their arms.
As the clock struck Midnight much earlier in the day - my friends and I, stuck mid-floor in an elevator at the Park Hilton Hotel, rung in the New Year cheek-to-cheek and butt-to-butt with no room to sip the champagne wedged between us. Fireworks filled the sky for hours after the year turned and we continued to celebrate both the New Year and our timely release from the elevator.
Our celebratory lunch spot (where black-eyed peas were not served much to my disappointment and concerns of a year of bad luck) was the perfect place to watch the crowds gather at the ferry port readying to sail up and down the coast for a visit to their families and friends on this warm winter's holiday.
Meanwhile, down on the quieter side of the pier this fat Istanbul cat sleeps off a New Year's hang-over from too much celebration. Hey, at least you weren't stuck in an elevator.
It would be nearly two more years before I became a serious birder. Otherwise, this unidentified gull launching from my friend's balcony on New Year's day would have been not only the first bird of the year but surely a lifer!
I wish you all a very Happy New Year and a fantastic 2008!