So, we're just back from 5.5 days in Istanbul and I've debated if it's even worth me doing a trip report. Not because of the city, which is lovely... but because of circumstances beyond our control that almost sent our trip into a total tailspin. Plans went completely awry and medical drama and hijinks ensued. Hospital visits, money problems, panic... and the occasional kebab. I've decided to post anyways in the hopes that our experience may help someone else, or at the very least be an entertaining read.
Background: We are a couple in our early 40's who love to travel. We started about 7 years ago and have tried to get out of the country at least once a year. I'm an annoying, obsessive planner, a list-maker, a guide-book highlighter. I use Google maps to know exactly that the hotel's street looks like. I Yelp restaurants and check out the menus before I even get there. I book early and plan activities and alternates until the last possible second.
Ok, wait, I USED to do that. I booked this trip almost a year ago and then, shortly after, my husband was diagnosed with cancer. He's still working, he's being treated, but the last 11 months have been a bit of a blur of worry and MRI's and doctor's visits. MY OCD trip planning completely flew out the window. I would check TA occasionally, got a few guidebooks that sat on the coffee table.
So we had a only a rough sketch of this trip and decided we could color in the rest of the pictures when we got overseas. Our plan: Get to Istanbul via Munich (Business Class, thank you FF miles.) 9 hour layover because the formally obsessive me was afraid of weather delays in January. Then 5.5 days in Istanbul, fly back to Munich for a 4.5 day city stay, back home.
This was also our 20th anniversary trip and we were pretty sure it was going to be AWESOME...