It’s 4am here in California, wide awake. Just want to jot a few notes here about how safe I felt in Istanbul and Turkey in general. We were with our new family the rest of the trip, my DIL’s parents, brother and friends. We never opened our wallet, they were so generous and sweet. Right now the Lira is almost $6 to $1 American dollar. What a shame, it just goes to show what can happen to any country.
That’s all about politics, that aside, we all go on with life. Our friends and family were concerned about safety going to Turkey, I have to admit last year I was concerned too and stayed in the U.S. with my youngest son. Maybe because we were with “locals” I felt we were in good hands.
Even before the few days we were there before the family came in I felt safe. Istanbul was very clean, lots of public transportation for us to avoid traffic (which is heavy, I’d never drive there). We took a ferry over to Asia for dinner with the family with an incredible view. Unfortunately, it was raining so I couldn’t get a good pic.
The next day we went to Bebek, the Sausalito of Istanbul with even more Range Rovers than Manhattan Beach or Walnut Creek. That’s saying something…waterfront properties are worth more too along the Bosporus. I always thought the Golden Gate was a one of a kind, iconic bridge – there were 3 of them lit up in different colors at night. What’s funny about that is growing up in Manhattan Beach, watching it change to uber wealthy and thinking that’s where the rich people are. There’s just no comparison, this was the next level up (there’s always another level). So maybe I was wrong about Monaco? I’m used to start up money, not used to royalty money, that’s another league.
From there we went to a tower then had a coffee, went back to our hotel/apartment to gear up for the long flight home. My DIL’s parents met us for breakfast before we took a taxi to the new airport.
This airport is now the largest in the world, it’s spectacular!! If you go through this airport, be prepared to get there hours ahead of time for all the security. You need to be at the gate at least an hour before too for the last security check. You go through 3 times, the first when you enter the building. The second time is for your normal airport check like at any airport in the U.S. From there, you go into a high end, duty free shopping mall with great food and all the shopping you need to do for gifts to bring back. It’s like walking down Rodeo drive, there are some reasonable stores there too. Another reason to head to the airport early. Feature photo is the Prada/Gucci airport shops.
From what my DIL says, Turkey caters to tourism. This airport, after what happened a few years ago at the other airport, made me feel incredibly safe. This is now one of my favorite countries, so clean and friendly. So much history, like a small fact I didn’t know is the word turquoise comes from there? I grew up with turquoise from Bisbee. One of my other favorites, coffee (Kaave). I told my H once it was Turkish law that the husband brings the W a hot beverage in the morning. I don’t know where I heard that? It’s since been proved wrong, but I worked it while it lasted.
The flight back was your normal 14 hours of torture. It was a 2 Advil PM flight, the first one got me a half hour nap. I just woke up after sleeping a good 8 hours, it was worth it.
This post doesn’t have as many photos of our last day since I took a ton with all of us in it walking around the last day. I felt a little weird just uploading the Tom Ford F’ing Fabulous bottle of perfume while I was there thinking it might get flagged. Going from topless Nice to Muslim Turkey needed to switch gears on posts. They had that perfume at the airport, the F’ing was blocked out.
While I say I never felt unsafe, I was very aware that anything posted would be monitored and you better believe there’s facial recognition at that airport.
I’ll be back, next time for the postponed wedding. Put Turkey on top of my favorite places list now.
One last picture, bring the bookstores back to the U.S.!