Thursday, February 11, 2016

Waking up in Istanbul

TODAY'S PHOTO ALBUM: Istanbul - Day 1

The car came early and it was a hassle-free ride to the airport.  Smooth sailing through check-in and security.  From there we headed to the nearest bar with a tv.   Our good fortune, Durgin Park was right across from our gate.  Asked the bartender if he could put the Celtics on and he said "as long as it isn't news, we can switch the channel".  That was just fine with us!  Took a seat at the bar, ordered a couple of salads, and settled in for the next three hours of watching a great Celtics/Lakers (with Doc and Paul Pierce) game while chatting with Josh the bartender - who has relatives that own a restaurant in Flushing, NY where I grew up! The game ended in a regulation tie - DARN! We had to board the plane.  Just found out the Celts won in OT by 5 points - Yeah!
Coming into Istanbul
The flight was packed - mostly with groups on their way to Israel. The seat s were very small and not too much space - oh how I miss Premium Economy.  But once you get nested in, it's OK.  I passed out immediately after the dinner service and woke up about 2 hrs before landing - which- miracle of miracles - was an hour early! We became friendly with the couple in front of us who were on their way to visit their daughter in Haifa, Israel. They are from Maine and she is an artist - with a show in Portland this summer.  Just may have to drop by and see her.  They gave us lots of tips of where to go and what to do while in Israel.

Had to hang around the airport for our ride since we were so early. Still better than being in the plane. The driver was great - pointing things out along the way. Minimal  English but we figured it all out. Resting in the hotel now - small but adequate.

Freshened up and went exploring around the hotel. There is a roof-top restaurant with a magnificent view of Hagia Sophia. The place is a bit pricey - may think about it for Valentine's Day. From the top we headed down to the basement where the spa and Turkish baths reside.  Might just be the thing for tomorrow night.

It was time to look for a place to eat ,so we ventured outside and walked around the corner up the hill towards the Grand Bazaar.  Lots of colorful sights, sounds, and smells.  This is the heart of Old Istanbul - lots of cobble stoned streets, twisting and turning, going up and down steep hills.  We passed several restaurants of various nature and chose an authentic looking Ottoman food establishment. Ordered a vegetarian meze plate (like a Turkish pu pu platter) - with baklava and Turkish tea for dessert - yummy. It was a great way to end a very long and tiring journey.  Back to the hotel to call it a night.
Hagia Sophia from our roof-top

Next time.... Hagia Sophia

TODAY'S PHOTO ALBUM: Istanbul - Day 1

1 comment:

  1. Well good to hear you're there and safe. Went by the house today. Everything ok. Have fun !