Istanbul, Turkey (DoubleTree by Hilton) Istanbul – Piyalepasa
I seem to have difficulty getting a good night’s sleep if I have something planned first thing in the morning. And this was the case today, but I woke up on time and met the shuttle bus for the tour of one of the Princes’ Islands today. I managed to get a couple of hours of sleep.
It was interesting watching the process how the shuttles collected people, redistributed them for other tours, then pass us off to our guide at the pier where the ferry was docked. I had hoped for a smaller tour and not a whole boat load of people all going to the same place, but I just went with the flow and got on the boat. It took two hours in between the time I left the hotel (8:30) until we boarded the boat and it left the harbor (10:30).
Because I didn’t have breakfast, I bought a banana, and small bread thing, almost like a pretzel at the dock, and I was satisfied. At least until lunch. When I got on the boat there was a large concession stand that offered a variety of foods and drink. Amazing to watch the servers carry the large trays while the boat is swaying and dodging passengers and their children too.
Overall it was a smooth ride. I moved around the boat to get different perspectives from all sides of the ship after we left the dock. After about an hour we pulled into the Büyükada harbor. Büyükada is the largest of the nine islands.
We assembled after we docked to hear about the program for the day. We will first take a carriage ride around the island for about 30 minutes, have lunch (provided by a local restaurant), then have an hour or so to walk around before getting back on the boat at 3:15 p.m.
I joined three young women on the carriage ride, then later at lunch. They will be graduating university in July and they all enjoy travel and were from Manchester, England but had never been to London. They said they would rather travel outside the U.K. and explore other countries. We had a great time together.
After lunch we parted ways and I walked around and decided to buy an ice cream cone with two scoops of chocolate. It was getting warm outside and the chocolate was melting. After I finished I cleaned up with water from my water bottle and a napkin.
Before long it was time to board the boat again for the return trip. I was tired from last night and from the heat. I sat mostly in one spot and played pinochle on my phone. When we assembled again after the boat docked, there was another effort to sort out people by their hotels and get them in the proper shuttle bus. After much discussion between the guides and drivers we were on our way.
It was nearly 6:00 p.m. when I walked into the hotel lobby. I saw the hotel tour coordinator and paid for her for the tour. As it turned out, I should have paid her when I booked the tour, but didn’t have the cash on me, since there is no nearby ATM. She didn’t accept credit cards and I couldn’t charge the tour to my room. Just one of the things that one needs to work around when traveling.
I ordered a veggie pizza and took a shower while waiting for the pizza to arrive. The cost for the whole pizza was 2 Euro and 3 Euro for room delivery.
I ended up watching several “Whats My Line” episodes before going to bed. About 11:30 I heard music playing, and it kept getting louder. I called down to the front desk and was told there was a wedding party on my floor. I knew what that would mean – no sleep for me. I was told they would turn down the music at 3:00 a.m. I had forgotten to ask when I check in (per a Lesson Learned that I documented last month) if there was a wedding party scheduled anywhere in the hotel during my stay. I was given an offer to move to another room to sleep, but thought I could sleep through it. I was wrong.
Tomorrow I’m planning to visit the Blue Mosque and visit a few other nearby attractions.