late thursday evening after a workday cut graciously short, we traveled by cab to the international airport nearby. Armed with no more than a carry-on and tote, we strolled through security and landed at our gate over 2 hours early. I love this time before boarding; thoughts racing through your head about the prospects of this adventure and the sense of freedom pulsing through your body. I wrote in my journal, skimmed through Vogue ( I stress, skim) and before long, we were called to board. I settled into my seat- a vacant slot next to me thank God- and 7 hours, a German transfer and a 3 hour Turkish Air flight complete with a traditional hot meal later (US Air you should be ashamed) and we arrived.
My advice to you, fair travelers: If you wish to save money in Istanbul, do not choose transfers as your choice. While the taxi is always off putting to me…too many opportunities for manipulation and frustration the metro was far from a positive introduction to what turned out as nothing short of fascinating.
We arrived at our lovely hotel, Ahmet Effendi Evi, threw down our bags and were greeted with the unique hospitality for which Turkey is known. Ahmet Effendi Evi is located at the Southernmost point of Sultanahmet, or Old City. This neighborhood, while not my favorite, provided for a very strategic place for sightseeing and deliberate wandering. As we ascended up the steps, aching for a place of calm, we opened the door only to see the most beautiful view…
the night began with dinner at a local jaunt recommended by guidebooks and our hotel, that left a bit to be desired. But with full stomachs, eyes wishing to close, and hearts of gratitude, we took the long route along the coast of the Bosporus to settle in to our lovely room for a much needed nights sleep.
Welcome to Istanbul. Stay tuned for Foreign Bites: Turkish Breakfast