The transit in Jeddah was exhausting. There was no comfortable place to sleep so when I decided I would like go sleep, I spent three hours tossing and turning trying to get comfortable.
Me during the transit:
This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass.
Eventually, after checking my watch for the 274489359th time, I saw that it was time to board for our next flight. The deadly wait was over.
After the bus ride to the plane, we got settled in our seats and we hit cloud 9 (I guess, both figuratively and literally).
This morning when I woke up, the pilot was telling us to fasten our seatbelts to prepare for landing in Istanbul and with that we were in Turkey.
We landed at the new airport, it’s stunning, there was also some Christmas decorations up. The airport is huge so the walk was long from the flight until we were out of the airport.
Everyone said the first thing to do when you land is get a sim card. We went with Turk Telekom because they had the best deal. There are taxis outside the airport but be careful because the taxi drivers charge extra. Check price with them first.
We booked at Melano Express Suites for the night because it’s near the airport. We have a 7:30 am flight tomorrow. After settling in (eating padkos and showering), we decided to explore Arnavutköy.
Opposite our hotel was Taşoluk Yeşil Camii. It is a beautiful masjid with fountains in front of it and benches for people to sit on. It had a really nice vibe on jummah, the men were sitting on the benches and having conversations before the athaan went. The best part of the day was hearing the athaan. The athaan went on from about five masjids around us, it was absolutely amazing to hear. I read that there is not a second in the day where the athaan is not being called out in the world. Truly, peace lies in prayer.
We took an Uber to Old Town just so we could get some idea of the place. The sun was setting as we drove into downtown Istanbul. We watched the sunset on the ocean and I was left astounded, no matter where I am, I’ll be chasing sunsets. Old Town took my breath away. The cobblestones, the lights, the cafes, the people, the European authenticity.
We walked through Old Town and found a restaurant called Istanbul Ottoman Kitchen. For starters we had bread with an olive paste, it was mouthwatering. For mains, we ordered the chicken pot, it’s a chicken stew in a clay pot, heated on a fire and then the man cracks the pot and puts the stew in your plate and adana kebabs which were both served with rice and french fries.
We bought chestnuts and roasted corn (mielies) from a street vendor and then came back to our hotel to sleep so we can be up at 5am tomorrow.
Step count: 11 317