After a busy and somewhat eventful summer, Jan and I arrived in Istanbul on October 1 for a three-week stay. The flight from Boston to Istanbul was about 9 hours and we arrived at the brand new Istanbul Airport on time around 4 PM local time.
The airport indeed appeared very large and for some reason, our plane taxied to the gate with many, probably eight or nine hairpin turns as if on a mountain road. After the doors opened and our turn came to walk out, we started moving to disembark the plane. I asked the hostess where I could find the wheelchairs. She directed me to the first-class exit where other passengers were waiting for the same. I will skip a few stops and simply say that it took us an hour and a half to go from the plane to the car waiting for us despite breezing through passport and customs! The wheelchair service was seriously lacking in equipment and manpower.
The drive home was during the rush hour and that took about another hour and a half and we made it home. Ergun was waiting for us at home and greeted us with the usual warm welcome. After chatting a bit, we sat for dinner; Binnaz’s chair remained empty, noticeably empty.
The next day Ergun took us to Kuzguncuk to visit the weekly market and then a nice lunch at Ismet Baba restaurant. The weather was quite nice, indeed a bit too warm and we watched the traffic on the Bosphorus while enjoying some appetizers followed by nice fish, bonito fillet.
Below are some photographs both Jan and I took to give you a feel for the first 24 hours in Istanbul. More to come …