May 20 - 21
After leaving our new friends in the airport, we headed out in a cab for the hour drive to Istanbul - this time to the "old city." It was nearly 8:30PM as our driver pulled up on a busy street where we saw no hotel at all. He motioned that we were to get out. After a frantic few minutes, a bellboy from our hotel (The Sultania) arrived to take our luggage down the pedestrian-only street. Our driver, of course, could not enter the street with his cab but had called the hotel and told them we were there. Wow, a slight scare, but all was well as we checked in and went up to our room where a treat of Turkish Delight was under a domed tray on the bed waiting for us. The room was fit for a sultan with a harem girls picture on the bathroom walls! We were famished and headed out down the street to the Pasazade Ottoman Cuisine restaurant just adjacent to our hotel for a great dinner. We really slept well that night and did not get up until 9 in the morning!
That next morning with great internet, Anne mapped out our next few days with maps and directions to our already planned "Taste of Istanbul" on Thursday and a walk to the Archeological Museum today. We have fancy dinners planned for tonight (Tuesday) and Wednesday at rooftop restaurants. Since we had a late breakfast, our visit to the Archeological Museum could run late and a lunch of pizza was great at 3PM. The museum was half under construction (for earthquake reinforcement), but provided many excellent views of statues, mummies, sarcophagi, and ancient pottery. Dinner on Tuesday was at the Imbat restaurant and was excellent.