Banner Images

Welcome to Day 2 of Janet and Randy's Turkish Adventure 2015

Saturday, March 28th, 2015

Arriving into Istanbul, we didn't have to fill out a customs declaration card like we do for other countries.  So, once off the plane, we headed straight to customs (actually it was Passport Control).  There was a separate line for business class customers, so we dug out our boarding pass, and was able to use the much shorter line.  We showed our passports and visas, and the customs agent just stamped our passports without saying a word.  Then it was off to get the one bag we had checked.

Found the luggage carousel that the luggage for our flight was supposed to be on.  We waited and waited and waited.  Nearly feel asleep waiting for the one piece of luggage. The luggage carousel finally started moving, and we waited some more before bags finally came off.  However, the first bags off were all Turkish airline crew bags.  Then there were bags for a different flight.  Finally the bags from our flight started coming out, but it took quite a while for our bag to appear.  We grabbed the bag and headed for the customs exit.

We had pre-arranged a private transfer from the airport.  There was a huge crowd of people waiting with signs and we finally found our name and were taken to the mini van that was going to take us to our hotel.  Traffic in Istanbul is quite congested, so it took us about 45 minutes to get to the Istanbul Marriott SisliAlong the motorway/freeway/whatever they call it here, there were large flower gardens and many tulips in bloom. All arranged it unique patterns. We later found out that there is a Tulip Festival later in April, which unfortunately we'll miss.

View from the Marriott SisliWe checked in and found that we had been upgraded to a sea view room.  It was a nice room with a comfy bed.  We unpacked a bit, then decided to lie down for a nap as we only had maybe 3 hours of sleep on the plane.  We slept for about an hour and a half - waking up when the 6:30pm call to prayers sounded from the nearby mosque.  We showered up and headed to the Club lounge in the hotel.

We had some food and water in the lounge - which made us feel a little better.  Then we decided to go for a walk in the neighbourhood around the hotel.  The area has a lot of shops and restaurants, and we happened across a huge shopping mall just 2 blocks from the hotel. 

Security seems to be a big thing here.  To get into our hotel, everyone has to put any bags through an x-ray machine and walk through a scanner.  Same thing at the mall.  We walked around the mall for a bit, and then decided we should maybe get some more food so that we don't wake up in the middle of the night starving.  After checking out the many different restaurants in the mall, we ended up at a place called Okafe.  Luckily they had an English menu, so our jetlagged brains didn't have to work too hard.

I just got a chicken wrap, and Randy got some sort cheese and meat scramble (almost like a deconstructed fajita).  Both were tasty.  We were starting to feel exhausted again, so we headed back to the hotel after supper and just relaxed. 

Go to Day 2 Back to Home

 

Copyright 2015, Polihale Consulting Ltd.