A Travellerspoint blog

Here I am in the city I love most

and sharing it with the one I love most!

sunny 16 °C

With a long, and thankfully uneventful, flight behind us we arrived in Istanbul at about 5pm Turkish time. The trip consisted of 2 hours from home to Madison Heights to drop the cats off at Laura and Adam's, 3.5 hours from the Heights to Dulles with a few stops on the way (because isn't there always something you forgot to pack?), 7 hours from Dulles to Paris, and finally about 5 hours from Paris to Istanbul. The line was long at passport control, but thankfully moved quickly. Our bags made it unscathed and intact! We got some Turkish Lira and headed out to catch the Metro, was accosted by one of the shuttle van people but I knew better than to take him up on his offer. Metro was a bit packed like sardines at one point and we had to "pardon, pardon" our way off at Zeytenburnu to transfer to the tram. We made it to Sultanahmet with nary a hitch and after a bit of walking around finally found our hotel.

The Doy Doy restaurant was nearby so we chose it for dinner. Tim had the chicken kebab and I had the karseli pide (cheese pide.) I was so proud of myself that I was able to tell the waiter the food was very good in Turkish - çok iyi; and to order two teas as well - iki çay lütfen!

After dinner we took a walk in the cool night air up through the Hippodrome and down Divan Yolu Caddesi to the Grand Bazaar. I knew it was closed but the walk was nice. Istanbul in March is quite different from Istanbul in December or January. It seems more alive. Our walked ended with us splurging on the luxury treatment at Çemberlitaş Hamamı near the Burnt Column. That was the perfect end to a long trip to get here. Now listening to the gulls call on the Marmara and the noises of the city we shall retire for the night so we can take it all in tomorrow!

İyi geceler - Good night!

Posted by oceanchild 14:28 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

The best cure for wanderlust...

...is sometimes painful

That cure of course is traveling. Let me make it clear that traveling isn't painful (except for airports, airlines, and all the hassels that go with them) but getting ready to travel can be! Trying to "get it all done" before flying out of the country consumes way too much time and patience. Of course in the end it is all worth it and really, if you forget something is the world going to stop turning? I say as long as I have a change of clothes, a credit card and/or cash, my necessary RX's, my passport, and my camera then I'm doing good. Wait, my computer is a necessity as well. I think I'd die if I weren't able to Google directions or find out the best place to eat on a Sunday evening in Istanbul! That is what I am in the process of now...packing. Laundry and packing.

We have our itinerary set but it has enough flexibility to allow us to explore. We will spend 2 days in Istanbul before we fly to Adana in southern Turkey where we will rent a car and drive down the Mediterranean coast to Kızkalesi (Maiden's Castle) and Silifke. From there we will either drive back to Tarsus and head to Cappadocia via the Cilician Pass or go north from Silifke through Mut and Karaman. Three days in Cappadocia is the minimum suggested so we will be doing just that. A visit to the Göreme Open Air Museum and a hike in the Red or Rose valley are likely but one definite is a visit to Nevşehir and the Ilhara Valley since I am researching St. Gregory of Nyssa for my thesis and that was his "stomping grounds" so to speak. I really would like the get to Tuz Gölü (which means salt lake) near Aksaray. Leaving Cappadocia we will drive south to Adana and take a quick trip over to Karatepe National Park, an archaeological site which contains a Neo-Hittite settlement. I'm really excited about that even though it is not my area of study! Sadly from there we shall fly back to Istanbul. No, I'm not sad going to Istanbul, but we won't leave the airport since our flight from Adana gets in at 11:50pm and our flight to the U.S. leaves at 5:55am. Yes, I'll be spending another one of those long nights in the Ataturk airport. I seem to be making a habit of this.

I've checked the weather as far out as Wunderground will give me. Ahhh...beautiful! Monday in Istanbul should be almost perfect with highs in the mid 60's and sunny. Tuesday brings a few clouds maybe? Wednesday on the Mediterranean coast will see 70's and sunshine while Thursday through Sunday in Cappadocia will have us donning jackets in the evening with lows in the 20's! Of course it's weather and all of that can change at the drop of a hat! But I've previously enjoyed rainy, cold days in Istanbul and snowy days in Cappadocia so it really won't matter. It's Turkey, that's all that matters.

Posted by oceanchild 20:31 Archived in Turkey Tagged preparation Comments (0)

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