Watch out, the parents are in town

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

First day off after 10 days cycling, the body clock was still very much set and I could not help to wake early and get out and about. I set off to find the hotel mum and dad would be staying in. About an hour later and lots of visits to Google maps at one of the many Wifi hotspots around the town, I finally arrived at Hotel Darusaade reception.  I had really managed to tie myself up in knots, circling around and around the winding streets of the old town.  The hotel was beautiful and I was pleased that they would be staying in such a nice place.  My inbuilt satnav had really let me down this morning and it took me another half an hour to walk back.  Later we timed the walk between the two at just 12 minutes so I am not sure where I had been on this attempt.  Pols and I then set off to the airport to meet them.  We had decided to take local transport, cheap, hectic but really fun. The first leg was a boat trip across to Kadikoy, a port on the Asian side of Istanbul.  There we stopped for a drink and had a really open chat with a gay Kurdish waiter about the challenges he faces in Istanbul and how he dreams of moving to England.  On we went catching a packed bus.  We drove for almost an hour, the continuing huge buildings and thousands of people confirming how sprawling this city is.  We passed the bus we had chosen not to take opting for a sit down in a café instead, it lay smashed up at the side of the road having wiped out a car.  Arriving at the airport we struggled with the layout but finally realised we must pass through security to even enter the arrivals lounge.  It was great to see my parents come through the arrivals gate, it has always been the other way around, so many times they have nervously waited to see how scruffy I would look on my return from somewhere.  We took them back on the return leg of our bus/boat journey.  They loved the packed bus and even more so, the beautiful boat ride back to town. There is surely no better way to enter Istanbul (other than by bike of course).  Well settled in the hotel, Pols and I left them and grabbed ourselves a beer before checking out a good restaurant to eat in.  The cheeky chappy outside agreed a good discount with us and we enjoyed a top meal.  He enjoyed the hug I gave him after the meal even more.  A very good first day with the folks.
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