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Turkey Day 1: Long Haul Travel

About a year prior, I told Brenda I wanted to do another one of our big trips in 2023 and presented her with three options to choose from: Galapagos Islands/Ecuador, another African safari, or Bali/Wakatobi Dive Resort. She had been to Bali about 20 years ago and loved it so she chose that option. I was thrilled because Wakatobi has been on my snorkel bucket list for years. I started looking at flights and determined we had three options to get to Bali - Singapore, Seoul, or Istanbul. I did more research on each of these and we determined that Istanbul would make a great stopover to break up about 24 hours of flying time each way.

The night before leaving, Brenda flew to Dallas from College Station and stayed overnight. Our flight was leaving at 11a and no way would I trust her to get there on time that morning. Alex dropped us off at the airport and we were off on our first leg - a three hour flight to Toronto. We landed in Toronto and had about six hours to kill. I considered taking the train into Toronto and down to the waterfront for dinner but ultimately decided it was cutting it too close to do so with all of the security backups I read about. So we got very familiar with the Toronto airport, visiting the shops and walking around. We had dim sum at Lee's Kitchen for dinner.
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I got in trouble for touching an expensive purse in a fancy store. Ha! Our flight was delayed about an hour but finally at almost 11p, we were seated on Turkish Airways and on our way to Istanbul.
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After 11 more hours of flying, we arrived in Istanbul around 330p local time. We were staying overnight at Hidden Hills Airport Hotel nearby because we had an early morning flight to Cappadocia the next day. Our hotel picked us up in a pimped out ride.
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We were exhausted from so many hours of traveling and at this point we basically wanted food, showers, and to try and keep ourselves awake until bedtime. We checked in to our room and surveyed the surrounding area.
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From our hotel room window.
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The mosque was very close. We didn't realize how much of an issue that would be until the middle of the night call to prayer.
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We rested a bit and got settled then headed downstairs to the hotel restaurant for dinner. There were interesting shisha pipes on display.
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We toasted our trip with what turned out to be terrible wine that we dubbed communion wine.
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For dinner, we split a salad.
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Brenda ordered chicken stroganoff.
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I ordered a Turkish pita which was very good.
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After dinner we went back to our room, cleaned up, and collapsed in bed.

Posted by zihuatcat 23:01 Archived in Turkey Tagged turkey istanbul brenda

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