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Published: April 27th 2016
: Excited and enthusiastic we arrived early for the flight, which was delayed more than one hour leaving San Francisco. The fun of it was that we – meaning the crowd of folks scheduled on the flight – moved gates twice, each time getting to a higher number – 95, 97, 101. There was some fear that the plan was for us to walk to Istanbul in stages, but that proved to be untrue as we boarded, settled in and took off for our 12 hour 15 minute flight. Peggy slept most of the way while John watched all the movies he would never buy but was curious about. Peggy made a number of friends with the crew (a crew of 18 for this Boeing 777) by asking them to help her with her Turkish. The two cooks on board came round and asked us for a picture, and they provided a great deal of information on great hidden restaurants.
After arriving and making our way into the city, we settled at our new home, Magnaura Palace Hotel, named after the old Byzantine and Roman palazzo next door. The place has a fabulous view of the Bosphorus and a great
staff that were very welcoming. The owner lived in San Francisco for two years and only returned to start this business.
After settling in – shower really helped – we walked around the area and stopped in a café for meze, tea and some music. How relaxing. Then a walk to the Blue Mosque and the Aya Sofia and then home. Interestingly, the Blue Mosque is under some repair, including one of the six minarets. Tired and but still excited.
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