After a week in Greece we decamped last Monday to Istanbul, where Brother-in-law of Bucharest Life – a major in the Romanian army – is currently stationed with Nato. (That Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta left Turkey the day after we arrived was a coincidence).
Anyway, one of the highlights of the week was a visit to this place: the Rahmi M. Koc Museum. Ostensibly a transport museum, it is a whole lot more: we expected to spend half an hour looking at a few old trains but ended up spending much of the day there. It’s a huge museum with an extensive range of exhibits both inside and out, including loads of hands-on science stuff for the kids, an amazing classic car collection, a submarine (which you can explore) and a narrow-gauge railway offering trips up and down the Golden Horn. Oh, and a locomotive Made in Romania.
Yet of all the gems on display, perhaps the most amazing is this American World War ll bomber, Hadley’s Harem, which crashed into the sea off the coast of Southern Turkey in 1943 while trying to reach Cyprus after being hit during a raid on the oil fields of… Ploiesti.
The captions tell the story of the bomber better than we could. It’s a story worth telling: no wonder the Turks saw fit to salvage the aircraft.
One other note from Istanbul:
Having ridden on the vintage tram which runs up and down Istiklal Cadessi, Son of Bucharest Life suggested something similar for Bucharest. A vintage tram running the length of Strada Lipscani perhaps? If you think that Bucharest doesn’t have any vintage trams, see this post from 2009.