We're back from Istanbul after a short 3 night stay there. We came by way of Kenya after doing 2 safaris so we were quite tired. First let me say that Turkish Airlines were wonderful. The food was excellent, service great and they were always accomodating. Our flight from Nairobi began at 3:40 A.M. ( an ungodly hour ) and I woluld never do that again. There was constant talking in the the first class section so sleep was impossible. We finally found out why there was so much action going on when I met a doctor from Save the Children. Someone had gotten very sick and this doctor took care of him on the seven hour flight with all the help of the crew. SUPER JOB!!
Once we arrived at Ataturk Airport we were met by our driver from the Seraglio Hotel. We were taken to the hotel and arrived at 10:30 with just enough time to unpack and meet our friends at 11:30. We shopped all afternoon buying jewelry, leather,silk scrarfs and two leather coats at KOC ( thanks Enigma). Vakko ( outlet by spice baaazar ) had a 50% sale with 40% of of that. What a deal.
That night we ate at Sabahatten Restaurant and the mezes and fish were great at around 50$ US for the two of us ( we're not drinkers ) back to the Hotel for a good nights sleep!
The next day we went off by tram to the Jewish Museum and enjoyed learning how the sultan had invited the Jews into the country during the Spanish Inquisition. From there we went to Ipek to by some more ties and a few more scarfs. Beautiful products. After a great lunch at Konak, that sufficed for dinner , we walked and walked seeing people in numbers. It was a beautiful day. The weather was really working for us.Back across the bridge we went to watch a football game in the evening at the hotel.
The next day found us at the Chora Church,Ahrida Synagogue ( made arrangements before we left ) Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sofia. We will spend much more time on our next trip. Dinner that night came in the form of a street vendor and was wonderful. We were tired of eating big meals. It was Great. The next morning found us on our way to the airport and we were delayed for an hour by being 12th on the runway. We got to Chicago ann hour late but not to worry. Turkish Airlines gave us meal voouchers and put us up at the Hiton for the night.. How do you like that kinda service.
When you consider that we spent a week in Kenya on safari and then three days in istanbul. The trip was a great success!!!
I would like to say that staying at the Seraglio Hotel was wonderful. We had a Hamam in room and it was perfect for these old bones to relax. They couldn't have been more accomodating and helpful
Finally i would like to say tha this Tripadvisor Forum is the best ever. We've used it for travel since it;s beginning and our advisors here came up with super suggestions,travel routes and ideas! Thank You Bernie G
PS now that we got our feet wet we will be back to spend some real quality time in the city.