9:38:00 PM Unknown 0 Comments

We wanted to go some place warm for ski week, some place where we could sit on the beach, sun bathe and get tan. Unfortunately, the only places that fit that description in March are Dubai and Egypt. Dubai was too expensive and Egypt was rioting; not so good for a family vacation, so we decided to skip the beach and do a cultural trip to Turkey. We had a great time, despite the frigid weather. 

We had to be on the 5:18am train to make it out to the airport on time.

We began our trip in Istanbul where we stayed with friends who live in a penthouse with this amazing view of the Marmara Sea on the Asia side. My first impression of Istanbul was, “this is cleaner than I expected.” The city is insanely big; 15 million people, and congested like a clogged drain. Apartment buildings cover the landscape as far as the eye can see. Driving in the city is absolutely INSANE! Cars do not respect lanes, lights, the 3 second rule, the no cutting off rule, or one way streets. Thankfully, our friends sent a driver to pick us up from the airport and we used public transport the rest of the trip.

Now here's a site you don't see everyday. The airbags had been stolen out of the taxi...That gives you a real sense of security when you are driving in the Grand Prix.

We celebrated our first night in Istanbul with a delicious, traditional, several course Turkish dinner. It was it good, but some of it was way out of my comfort zone. Eliza was so thankful when they actually brought out meat. She wouldn't touch most of it with a 10 foot pole. Eden, on the other hand, is an adventurous eater and she ate things I didn't even like.

TIP: I would not recommend driving in Istanbul.  Not only are you taking your life into your hands, but traffic is horrible. Public transportation is easy and abundant. Our friends taught us you can catch a dolmus at just about any major street corner, just wave them down and they will stop.  The destination of the dolmus is clearly marked on the window.  In our case, we were headed to the harbor where we would catch a ferry to the European side which is where the bulk of tourist attractions are.  

Another advantage of taking the ferry across is the vantage point you get for taking photographs.  I took these last two photos from our boat out in the bay.