We have been in Istanbul for two days now and both Nic and I really like this place. We arrived on the 4th February and had a good feeling instantly when we searched for the hotel within the Old City.
However travelling from Alexandroupolis in Greece to the Turkish border proved harder than we thought and after one hour of being stuck paying for visas and green cards, spending 165 Euros, we were eventually let through. Somehow Sib, his charm and his South African passport meant he didn’t have to pay for a visa. Not sure how but he managed it saying he thought they didn’t know what a South African passport was!
Meanwhile I was trying to feed Lily rice and soup. She is a fiend for rice and didn’t eat anything else. She was really misbehaving after her lunch, shouting and throwing herself around. After dragging her back to the car kicking and screaming I managed to calm her down with a baby bel and yoghurt. She promptly drifted off to sleep for an hour and a bit. What a relief. I am sure she was just tired but I am really finding it hard to read her due to our routine changing.
It was only 230km from the border to Istanbul. I was dreading the navving in Istanbul especially after the Trieste fiasco. However I managed to get us to our destination and we found the delightful Hotel Albinas within the Old City and minutes from the Blue Mosque and Sultanahmet square. The sun was setting over the Marmara Sea and we let Lily scooter along the promenade, which was lovely apart from the sheer drop into the sea on one side! Lily made quite an impression with the Turks and they all thought this little person scootering around like a mad thing was fabulous!
Nic and I have walked many kilometers since arriving in Istanbul with him pushing Lily around in our hopeless pushchair up gradients of more than 1 in 4. We certainly needed the exercise after driving around 2300 miles. Parking the cars for four days outside the hotel on the cobbled streets has been a blessing.