Wednesday, January 1, 2014

First Time in Istanbul

We arrived at Istanbul Airport around 7AM local time for the first time on the first day of the new year. Sleepless and tired, yet excited to explore a little bit. After leaving our luggage at the airport for a fee, we found the Sheraton hotel shuttle where we had reservation. As soon as the shuttle doors opened in front of the hotel lobby it was evident that we were in an American environment: American music which was nicely blended with Turkish hospitality.  We were promised to check in earlier, around 10AM rather than 2PM.
We lounged in the lobby and A started watching Harry Potter.  It is a beautiful hotel, close to the airport located at the harbor front.

We got our room keys at 11AM at last. Knowing it would take that long we would have planned our day differently, leaving our carry on in the lobby and heading to the city center earlier.
This Sheraton Istanbul Atakoy is the best Sheraton I have been to. Comfortable yet elegant with view if the harbor front. Now I wish we were staying longer.

We headed to the Sultan Ahmet district. It was awesome! Old stone covered allies with small shops. I prayed in the Blue Mosque. We walked the ancient streets and had lunch. We watched a lady weaving carpets. We asked of the price of a beautiful silk carpet where the guy claimed that Turkish carpet was "the original" and not comparable with the Persian rug. It suddenly made me feel betrayed.  Even more so when I saw many other handicrafts claimed of being the originals. I wish we Iranians deserved our heritage more!
I really enjoyed our stroll and I hope to come back, soon! Enshala!


No comments: