From Jerusalem, to Tel Aviv & then fly to Istanbul

Trip Start Sep 19, 2010
Trip End Oct 25, 2010

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Where I stayed
Premier Regency Suites

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Today I have had a limosine service drive me from Jerusalem, back to Tel Aviv to board a plane to Istanbul at 9:45 a.m. The airport is 1 1/2 hours away and I have to be there 2 hours before the fllight so I am advised they will come at 5:50 a.m.  in order to do last minute packing and be ready downstairs, I set the clock for 4:00 a.m. but I am in bed by 8:00 so that is okay.   Anyway, I get to Istanbul at 1:00 p.m. and am met by Faruk, a 23 year old who has a degree from a Turkish University specializing in Turkish history and archeology.  He is delightful and advises me that they have had to change my hotel but have  upgraded me.  The sad thing is, it is raining - hard.  When we arrive at the hotel I am surprised that it is a 5 story building with 15 smallish rooms and four stairs to get into the hotel, but I soon find that it completely deserves the 5 star status it has. It has a turkish bath downstairs, everything works, everything is new, they help carry my scooter in and out of the hotel, the food is wonderful and they cannot do enough for me.  Fruit in the room, free water bottles, free coffee in the room, white table cloths, candles, flowers etc. and a dining room that extends out into the street.   This is the real charm of the place, its location, on a narrow street which has other renovated houses made into hotels, with shops or restaurants on the ground floor and merchandise and patios spilling out into the street.  All have porticos or large awnings and heaters, the big propane type that they move around as guests arrive and leave.  They also provide shawls to the ladies who are cold and are very charming.  After being in a sort of hostel/guesthouse where I could not even buy lunch or dinner and only got the room cleaned if I asked for it and had a thermostat that did not work until they installed a new one, this was heaven.   Faruk made sure all is well and left.  It is 3:30 p.m. so I  have lots of time to unpack and organize myself and enjoy the wonderful ambience and have a lovely dinner.  When I go down to dinner I find the street is lit up, both by street lights and hanging lights at each store and restaurant creating a old world charm.  I feel like I am in the movies.
It surprises me to find that hugh buses keep coming up the street.  Whether they are going to a hotel in the area or are just doing a tourist tour I am not sure, but there are quite a few and when they meet a car going in the other directing, they pass each other very slowly.  I am surprised it is a two-way street as many in the area are one-way and this one really should be I think.    


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