It’s official. I seriously hate February and March in the Northern hemisphere. I don’t ever remember being so effected by short grey days in NZ throughout October and November though. So I’ve had a hiatus on the blog, but have been running, rediscovered yoga, and actually been pretty busy with the girls. Yesterday they had friends over for the day and we headed to Emirgan Park down the road for some playtime. I foolishly forgot my camera so enjoy my phone-taken delights where I was playing around with settings and trying to keep an eye on five wee ones with bounds of energy.
The tulips have started to come into full bloom for the Istanbul Lale Festavali, or Istanbul Tulip Festival. Emirgan Park has had a re-do or two over the winter and their are new shiny playgrounds, outdoor gyms and some strange aquarium things around the place as well as an absolutely stunning array of tulips – hundreds of beds across the park.
The park is a completely different place today. Over winter there was hardly a person to be seen – a few teenage couples sneakily holding hands on the park benches, the occasional dogwalker, middle age men ‘jogging’, and a fair few veiled women with their toddlers – except myself running like a mad woman in shorts and a tomato-red face. Today its overflowing with families, groups of teenagers, school groups, couples, elderly groups; everyone wandering along the neat little paved paths, (security guards blowing their whistles every time someone dares step on a blade of immaculate, ever-so-inviting grass.)
The Istanbul Council plants over 11 million tulip bulbs around the city for the festival usually lasting throughout April. The tulip is a symbol of Istanbul since the Ottoman period – being brought over from Iran centuries before. I never realised how many colours and types there are! It’s understandable how they were the pokemon card of the 16th century