Istanbul – the initial challenges

I guess it is always unfair to judge a place by its airport – so I won’t. Our flight into Istanbul was relatively painless but you have to remember this a place where the barter is a way of life. You don’t barter for your visa – you are just asked for a crisp £10 note – they don’t quiz you, just take the cash!

The cost of transferring to the hotel was apparently 180 Lira. That was the lowest possible price. Although it could be done for 250 Lira return. And then it seemed if for each of us that was a different price again – 200 Lira. We settled for that! The driving reminds me of Malaga taxis – speed is king here. Lanes are optional.

The sea view is spectacular?

I had a slight issue when arriving at the hotel – my sea view room seems to have been lost in translation. But I struggle to believe that ‘motorway’ and ‘sea’ are even vaguely close in the Turkish dictionary. I am being moved as soon as the new room is ready – or when they have moved the sea.

Arriving at a remote hotel at 10pm is not a great idea; nothing was open. However, we did find an excellent kebab shop a 10 minute walk from the hotel. We had cheese and meat (I didn’t ask what sort of meat) pizza. I really enjoyed it. It is claimed that pizza was invented here and not in Italy. Four of us ate, beer was included and the bill was less than £5 each. I don’t think these were tourist rates! Come to think of it we didn’t see any tourists…or dogs….

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