LAX to Turkey, Christmas in Istanbul

Istanbul Travel Blog

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Flight to Istanbul was relatively uneventful. First time I've flown Air France, so I think a brief review is in order:

- Pros: Good food, each seat has a personal entertainment center/screen, good service

- Cons: Tiny seats (seem more crammed together than other airlines I've flown), extremely limited carry-on baggage space. My normal carry on baggage, which I have used many times on domestic flights, was "too big" to be brought into the cabin. At least that's what they told me at the ticketing counter. But I convinced them to let me take it on. Once I got onto the plane, it was difficult to find a place to stow my baggage as all of the limited overhead bins were taken. Haven't really ever had a problem with this on other flights. Then, on my transfer from Paris CDG to Istanbul, they made me check my carry-on at the gate while boarding. Fortunately, my bag actually arrived in Istanbul...


I met Dave at the airport in Istanbul and we took a taxi to our hostel in Beyoglu. Waiting for us was Phil (Deats), who I last saw 2.5 years ago in Eastern Europe, and his host, Doria, from Couchsurfing. We met up with one of her friends and then went to dinner at a small, family owned, neighborhood restaurant nearby. It was extremely casual (orders and food were sent up and downstairs via a small rope elevator shaft operated by hand), but the food was really good! I can't really describe it too well, but I think Phil or Dave got some good photos so will try to put those up shortly.

After eating, we went to a nearby bar where they brewed their own beer. The beer was good, but I was a bit surprised at the prices. At 6-7 lira they were not much cheaper than you'd expect to pay for a beer in LA. Also, lots of people smoke indoors in Turkey, so get used to breathing in second hand fumes! Nevertheless, it was a fun night, and it was good to reconnect with Phil after all these years!

Deats says:
Congratulations on featuring yourself, what a cheater hahahaha. Only kidding, i really like what i have read so far :) Look forward to seeing the finished article. Oh and you still havent accepted my friend request on couchsurfing, which means i cant leave a vouch for you on there - come on man, get with the program!!!!
Posted on: Jan 31, 2009
kayguarnay says:
Nice Feature! Definitely makes me want to visit Turkey while I'm in Sicily!
Posted on: Jan 31, 2009
Pearl510 says:
Congrats on the feature :)
Have a lovely weekend, Kim
Posted on: Jan 31, 2009
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photo by: Memo