Tuesday, October 13, 2009

landed in istanbul



i just landed at my hotel in istanbul. it is late and it was dark and rainy as i came in (hence this picture from 2007), but istanbul is so full of impressions, i had to share a quick list, if only to capture them for myself...

~ turkish airlines is now a member of star(ve) alliance (think SAS, united, lufthansa, singapore airlines, thai), but yet there is a round of applause on landing and people get up immediately to take their stuff out of the overhead bins while the plane is still taxiing the runway and no one says anything.

~ the food was brilliant, even in premium economy on turkish airlines. and i feel a little weird saying that, but it really was good.

~ istanbul is changing and modernizing. i could see that already in the airport, but you can also see it in the shops and cars and the billboards. it gave the sense of an unstoppable force.

~ the visa on entry thing is a money-making scam. but you get a pretty stamp in your passport.

~ it's amazing to be speeding along a big multi-lane highway and it suddenly goes under the arches of a third century roman aqueduct.

~ even in the dark, through pouring rain, all lit up, the ayasofya will take your breath away.

~ the driver apparently thought i looked like i would adore turkish techno, as he had it blaring the whole way from the airport and kept offering to take me to discos.

~ being here, even in the dark and without really seeing anything but my hotel, makes me feel that the world isn't all exactly the same and that seems like a really good thing.

more tomorrow...

15 comments:

Christina said...

So glad you landed safely. LMAO at your cab driver! He knows a honey, when he sees one.
xoxo ; )

kristina k said...

friends who've been to istanbul recently were really taken with the city. have a good time!

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Looking foward to tell us more about this amazing city of Istanbul (originally Constantinoupolis...)!

Char said...

oh for that sense of history - and i love byzantine

have a safe trip

Amy said...

i absolutely love istanbul, just tonight i was going through pictures from this january there. enjoy, cant wait to see new photos!

Allegria said...

Oooh! Oooh! I can hardly wait for pictures! This little teaser is has got me wanting more more more! What a great opportunity--Istanbul. Double Wow.

marinik said...

have a great time...much to see and do there..and yes the food is great everywhere down there :)

Allegria said...

HA! Just noticed my typos. Awhoops. :oP Nighters--it's obviously time to pack it in for the day. Enjoy Nisbalut...er..you know what I mean. ;o)

Allegria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Allegria said...

And then the last comment posted twice. Delete--and it doesn't just delete it nicely without announcing it to the world. LOL Blogger is a tattle tale. Pbbbtht on it, I say! ;o)

Stacey Childs said...

Oh once again you manage to make me jealous! Hope you are having a great time though. When I flew into Cairo once everyone clapped too. I thought it was a once off but apparently it happens in Turkey too. Who would have thought. Have fun!!!

Soozie said...

That clapping on landing thing happens in Sicily too - although the pilot had just narrowly missed ditching us in the ocean...No wonder poor hubbie has developed a mild fear of flying!

Bee said...

Yes, there is so much homogenous "culture" these days; I can see why it would be deeply stirring to experience a totally different world. Those glass beads make a colorful prism.

Protege said...

Sounds like a very exciting place to visit. ;)

Khristian said...

great pic!!! istanbul is def on my short list. thanks for sharing!