Tel Aviv to Istanbul

1/30 – Up early this morning for the cab ride to Ben Gurion Airport. Security is very tight here, and we were interviewed about our travel plans before we were allowed to check in. It should be noted that, although we had to go through a security scanner, we did not have to take off our shoes, nor were we asked to give up our water bottles.

Two hours later, we touched down in Istanbul, at the airport on the Asian side. We spent the rest of the afternoon on two buses to get us back to the European side, where we have to see a man about a box on Monday. Istanbul is a huge city!

Jim had reserved a small apartment through Bookings.com. When we got there, it was not an apartment at all, but a dumpy room with an electric kettle and a fridge that needed cleaning. Without the ability to cook, there is no reason to pay extra for an apartment, so we trooped back downstairs to speak to the manager. After some wrangling over the phone, he gave us our cash back, and we got into another cab for a place we quickly found online. It’s really amazing that in all our travels so far, this is the first time we had to leave a hotel. We read the comments and ratings carefully before we book, and most places present themselves honestly.

Half an hour later, we were tucked in to a lovely modern apartment with all facilities, a washing machine, and even a crib, in case we decide to have a baby! There was a supermarket down the street, and Jim bought the makings of a delicious supper, and had it on the table in an hour. Home sweet home!

1/31 – you may not believe this, but I stayed in bed all day, getting up only for meals. Traveling is hard work, and sometimes we need a day off from our vacation!

2/1 – Super Bowl Sunday! Jim’s trying to figure out how to watch the game, which will start about 3am tomorrow, our time…

We ventured out to check out the neighborhood and buy more groceries. We are in the southern part of Istanbul, right on the Sea of Marmara. We decided to stroll down to the harbor. When we got there, the wind was blowing fiercely, and the streets were flooded.

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It was like being in a hurricane, without the rain!

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Some of the boats looked swamped.

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The chestnut vendor didn’t budge from his spot, and the Sunday strollers braved the headwinds to continue their strolls.

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One block inland, life was normal, and the winds were gone. Very strange!

Was awoken at 4am to the sound of football -Jim figured out how to watch the Super Bowl after all. Glad the Pats won, because it would have made my brother happy.

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