Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Istanbul, Turkey (DoubleTree by Hilton) Istanbul – Piyalepasa

My plane to Malta leaves at 4:35 p.m. this afternoon so I had time to sleep in and then pack. The hotel said I could stay until my car arrived to take me to the airport. I was going to go down for breakfast but was okay with eating a few leftover french fries from last night’s dinner.

Before I knew it, the time was 1:00 and I told the front desk that I’d check out at 1:15. My car is scheduled for 1:30. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to the point in my life when I’ll be less conscience of time and punctuality. I know one thing, it makes me an efficient traveler. Later, perhaps I’ll only pay attention when it’s meal time at the retirement home and when Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune are on TV. (We know that those two shows will last forever.)

As it worked out at checkout, I was able to use the last of my local currency to pay the bill and put the remainder on my travel credit card. The staff at the hotel treated me very well during my stay and I’ll be sure to give them a very complementary review. (Except for the wedding party on Saturday – I’ll have to say something about that.)

At the airport I proceeded through check-in, passport control and security okay. I had some extra time so had a sandwich at Caffe Nero and water. From there I went to the gate and waited. This was the first gate ever where there was no sign or monitor that said that this was for the flight to Malta. I had faith that I read the reader board correctly. Eventually we boarded and took off on time.

Why I didn’t think about this before, but I gained an hour on this flight – so the flight is not one hour but two hours long. I knew it was going to be a fairly short flight so I didn’t mind. We had a dinner of some sort of beef item (like hamburger), salad, roll and a chocolate pudding dessert.

After we landed passport control went a little slow since some of the arriving people had to have their fingerprints electronically scanned. I guess Americans didn’t have to, for whatever reason, because the agent stamped my passport and was through in a minute.

From there I met my driver and we walked to his car. I suppose I could have taken a taxi, but the host offered the ride so I accepted. Since this wasn’t a taxi, but a hired driver, I mentioned to him after a phone call that I would prefer that he not take phone calls while driving. He said he had a Bluetooth, but I said it didn’t matter. No phone calls.

I met the host, or in this case, someone from the management company that provides this service. She showed me around the flat and explained what she could. It’s a nice place on a quiet street and near the harbor. It has been recently remodeled in an older converted home. With air conditioning!!!

After she left, I went to the nearby supermarket that she recommended. It was a 15 minute walk and I was sweating up a storm by the time I arrived at the market. There was no food, not even salt and pepper, in the flat. I bought a few items and left the market as they were closing at 8:00 p.m.

If I thought I was hot, tired and sweaty before, I was totally ready to drop when I got back to the flat. I unpacked a few things, and because of the meal on the plane, I wasn’t very hungry – so had a couple of bowls of cereal before going to bed. I was able to hook up my Apple TV to the TV in the flat and started to re-watch Downton Abbey.

The bed is very comfortable with four large pillows. I think I’ll like it here very much.

Tomorrow I’ll walk around the neighborhood, buy a few more groceries and go from there. I might hear back from Vanessa, the host’s assistant, and she may be my tour guide while I’m here.

To see pictures:

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