Had I not been on the Trip to Istanbul with Tess from Turkish Airlines and three of my colleagues from Wakanow, I would have been gutted. Ordinarily, you’d have to wait for 10 working days to get a Turkish visa from the embassy here in Nigeria. But the fact that our trip was an official holiday getaway to Istanbul courtesy Turkish airlines, we got our visa in a few days. Super cool, yeah?
Istanbul remains one of the least explored getaway cities by Nigerians. Travellers most times only explore the commercial districts of the city leaving top experiences like The Museums, The city centre, The Princes’ Islands, The Bosphorus, The Mosques, The Asian Side, The Grand Bazaar, The Topkapi Palace and the major football team in the city centre; Besiktas.
And where better to put out my wonderful experience of the old Turkish city that perfectly reflects all the cultures and empires that once ruled the Turks than here? I am going to chart the experience for you, my dear reader, – our arrival to the world’s biggest single roof airport, the exchange rate at the airport which I would never advise anyone to make such transactions, the airport transfer in a luxury bus, the hotel which is just a total of 10minutes walk away from the Vodafone Park and the Dolmabeche Palace.
Honestly, I don’t have an idea of how this diary will go, but I hope you enjoy all its bits.
We arrived at the new Istanbul airport safely and sound around 5:20 am local time after a 7-hour flight – saying the new airport was magnificent could be considered an understatement. The airport, I would describe it as a show of elegance, beautiful architecture and world-class technology.
I would rather not bore you with more details of the airport, however, you definitely should go see for yourself.
The pick up from the airport was a luxury six-seater, Benz Viano. We headed straight to Taksim; the centre of the most influential city in Turkey. Taksim is known to be the heart and soul of modern Istanbul. Littered with antique shops, rooftop eateries, bazaars, In just over 30minutes we were at the Mercure hotel.
We checked into our rooms and was on time for some sumptuous Turkish breakfast. My first Turkish meal was one to remember. I allowed the Chef to suggest what I should fill my plates with – it was a delight!
We took a 2-hour nap before meeting up with Raheed; a Nigerian who schools just across the Bosphorus.
I am certain that our tour of Istanbul was perfectly nice and I look forward to you finding out about all the excitement the city brings. So allow me to try and sate your burning curiosity over the coming days with this diary charting the experience. I hope you enjoy.
We’re on our waaaaaay….. Part 2 here.