Istanbul, first evening

Whisking off to an old historical city for just a prolonged weekend, always has its drawbacks. You always want to see more than you’ll ever have time for. When you’re there for the first time, you obviously check out the greatest tourist attractions, which isn’t necessarily always the most interesting tour.

We left Helsinki just before two in the afternoon, only about half an hour late. Landing in Istanbul, it was still light, but there was also a light drizzle. Our ride from the airport via two other hotels took closer to two hours, in something that was definitely more than a light drizzle. Our hotel, the Inside Hotel Sisli, is a new and modern hotel which looks extremely good and clean. At check-in we received a welcome drink, before the porter showed us to our room, which suits our needs more than well.

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After a quick freshing up, we rushed outside and headed for the closest shopping center. The rain was pouring down, and our umbrellas were folding in the heavy wind. I started dreaming about my sailing gear immediately. Only fools use umbrellas. Our aim was to find a newsstand where we could some bus cards, and also a scarf so that we can visit some of the beautiful mosques.

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Although I’ve been quite aware of security issues in the middle east, and considering the events of Bruxelles earlier this week, I was still a bit surprised when we entered the shopping center dripping wet. Just a few feet after the entrance, we were met by security control. This time I didn’t have to take the belt off, but everything else was the same as at airports.

We got the scarf, and decided that if it was going to rain on Friday, we’d be taking a taxi at least for the first tourist attractions. So we skipped looking for the newsstand and sat down for a glass of tea, and some lovely baklava. After this we headed back to the hotel, in a much lighter drizzle.

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Time to catch some z:s, so we can have a great day exploring this great city.

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