перевод в оригинальном стиле. It is cold. A chill wind blows from the Bosphorus. We had come on our trip in late March, expecting sunshine and mild
heat, and found hail-storms. When it rains in Istanbul the narrow streets below the Bazaar become torrents, impossible to walk through.
From the grounds of the Topkapi the skyline of the city, like an array of upturned shields and spears, is unreal. The tourists murmur, pass on. Turbans, fountains. Images out of the Arabian Nights.
Our hotel is in the new part of Istanbul, near the Hilton, overlooking the Bosphorus, across which there is a newly built bridge. Standing on the balcony you can look from Europe to Asia. There are few places in the world where, poised on one continent, you can gaze over a strip of water at another.
We had wanted something more exotic. No more Alpine chalets and villas in Spain. We need yet another holiday, but a different holiday. We thought of the East. We imagined a landscape of minarets and domes out of the Arabian Nights. However, I pointed out the political uncertainties of the Middle East to my wife. She is sensitive to such things. In London bombs go off in the Hilton and restaurants in Mayfair.
"Well, Turkey then — Istanbul," she said — we had the brochures open on the table, with their photographs of the Blue Mosque — "that's not the Middle East. Istanbul is in Europe."