Day 19 - Arrival in Istanbul

Istanbul Travel Blog

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The coach arrived in Istanbul at about 7am and all the aussies aboard piled onto a dolmus which shuttled us to Sultanahmet.  It was there we bode farewell to Shin, her parting gift to us a map of Istanbul.  It proved invaluable, allowing us to make our way directly towards our Hotel, rather than wandering aimlessly and quizzing locals.

Naturally, we arrived far too early to check in but we were allowed to place our luggage into storage for a few hours.  Told to return at about midday, we passed the time walking around town.  We found a main street which was full of clothing stores and Michelle was keen to take the opportunity to buy a new pair of pants (she only brought two pairs and she had already managed to get a big ink stain in one and tear a big hole in the other).   However, this shopping precinct was obviously some sort of wholesale area because none of the shops seemed to have changerooms and they all wanted us to buy in bulk (you couldn’t buy a single item of clothing).  Frustrated with cloth shopping we found the Grand Bazaar and wandered around there for a while.  All the shops were open but it didn’t seem anywhere near as busy as friends had described it.  Perhaps the Turkish national holiday had something to do with that?

WE were able to check into our room at about 11:30.  We freshened up and then the first of our mates began to roll into town.  As soon as Nathan and Chris arrived, it was beer o’clock.  A short while later Tove arrived and then in the early evening Craig, Bec and Mel showed up.  Scott’s flight was delayed, so he was the last to appear. 

At 7pm everyone on the tour gathered in the foyer and then we were off to the Sah bar for a few drinks.  The Efes flowed and flowed.  We did stop drinking long enough to get a quick bite to eat but then it was back to the pub for some more beers.  Towards the end of the night someone discovered a hookah bar so we ducked in there for a couple of water pipes and some more drinks.


Michelle and I walked home with Bec and Craig at about midnight.  I think we were amongst the first of the tour group to get home.  Having started drinking at about 2pm though, it was a plenty long enough day.
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photo by: Memo