We’ll, I’m in Turkey!
The flight in was pretty nice. Turkish Airline doesn’t play games with service. Upon departure, we received Turkish delight, warm scented hand towels, slippers, and a goodie bag of travel necessities. I watched two movies and slept for about 4 hours, which is nice considering I have insomnia and the plane was kind of noisy.
We arrived in Istanbul at 5 Turkish time and quickly made it through customs — because there was no customs, which was strange, but we didn’t argue. Then we hailed a cab and took it to our hostel in a part of the city called Sultanahmet, where we met with the two other members of our group. When we walked up to the hostel, the call for prayers echoed through the city and I knew I had officially arrived in a magical place.
After we settled in, we decided to venture off to explore the city. By now, night had settled in, but the city was still teaming with wonder. We were pleased to discover that our hostel is blocks away from Haggia Sofia and the Blue Mosque. Though late, we were able to go inside the latter and see the amazing architecture (and I was able to get familiar with my head scarf).
Then we made our way to a cozy family-run cafe where I had some Pide (it’s like a pita bread pizza), hot team and fresh baklava — which is the best baklava. And now the rest of my group is hanging out at the bar on the roof of our hostel, while I settle in and process the day.
Tomorrow is another adventure!