Trip Start Sep 21, 2010
13Trip End Oct 07, 2010
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Day one, September 22, 2010. Arrive at Istanbul. 10 hour flight from NYC via Turkish Air was uneventful. Pros: Movie selection was good enough that I didn't need to break into my itunes selection once. Food was great! Cons: Small desktop computer sized object under most seats in front of you, and about a centimeter of standing water in the bathroom (avoid socks!). Group also agrees the flight attends were pretty grumpy. We also may all have contracted a serious illness from a lady on the plane. No snakes though
The Bereket Apartments had agreed to pick us up from the airport and quickly founds us. We did have to wait about twenty minutes but before we knew it we were whisked away in a van and zooming through the streets of Istanbul (and oftentimes stopped in traffic).
After crossing the Golden Horn the scenery quickly changed from a bustling metropolis to small, ancient, claustrophobic streets that seemed impossible for our little van to pass through. We joked that we could shop from the van as the vendors and small shops were less than an arms length away. Our apartment was just past the Galata Tower and impressed everyone with its charm. There are several flights of stairs up a narrow spiral staircase which will likely not be fun to climb up after a day of sightseeing. And we were pretty sure we had signed up for wifi and 1 1/2 bathes (we ended up with a DSL land line and one bath), but no one complained as we were beat and the beauty and views of the city were fabulous. We decided on an apartment for the 5 of rather than an apartment and it turned out great.
We had a quick meal near with a great view of the tower (there are several small restaurants here) and were off to bed. Tomorrow we have a full day of sight seeing in the morning and our cooking class at night.