Turkey Diaries day 1 and 2

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An itinerary to Turkey generally has Istanbul and Cappadocia. For longer trips, Antalya, Ankara, Euphesus and Pamukkale can be included. Travelling between these cities isn’t very convenient so it is best to use Istanbul as a transit point.
This is the first time we aren’t staying in an airbnb and have booked hotels. Mainly, because I couldn’t find anything good in Istanbul and Cappadocia only has tourists. I prefer airbnb over hotels because you get a glimpse in the life of a resident, local recommendations and nobody is trying to up sell.
One major issue in Turkey is that some places charge in Euros and others in Turkish Lira. 1 TL is equivalent to Rs 12 so wherever we are paying in Lira, it is most affordable. Euro is the bitch. In most cases, there is a cheaper option to payment in Euro. Example, when we inquired from the hotel about a pickup from the airport they quoted 40 Euros (Rs 3600) but we managed to book an Uber for 60 TL (Rs 720). Or when they recommended a Bosphorus cruise for 40 Euros per person with night show and dinner but we managed to take a cruise for 15 TL per person without the added frills.
Though in some cases there is no option. We paid for the airport pickup in Cappadocia, hot air balloon ride and sightseeing tour in Euros.
Istanbul’s weather is perfect right now. There is a slight chill in the air with a drizzle few times in the day. Mixed with the smells from the carts roasting kestane (chestnuts) and corn and cigarettes smoke, it is the perfect combination. As much as I hate smokers, I love the smell of cigarettes in the winter. It is the only time in the year I wish I was an occasional smoker.
The plan for day 1 was to explore the neighbourhood of Sultanahmet where we stayed. We had a great lunch at a place recommended by Tripadvisor, walked down the numerous lanes and took in the sights and sounds of the Bosphorus. Though the plan was to walk along the water to the European side of the city, we walked onto a boat for a cruise. It was simply amazing. There were seagulls, castles and cafes along the banks, a dolphin splashing around, sunset and the most beautiful colours of the sky.
The next day we explored Spice Bazaar. This covered market has shops selling Turkish delight, baklava, dry fruits, jewellery, spices, lamps etc. The prices are lower outside so this is a good market only for window shopping. Thereafter we headed to the airport for our flight to Neveshir for the trip to Cappadocia.
This time the hotel was kind enough to help us with a cab which charges TL instead of Euros.


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