11 Oct 2010

From Eskesehir to Istanbul

The drive back to Istanbul seemed shorter by contrast, though we took the same road going in. Maybe we were fresher and more relaxed and there was rather less traffic on the road compared to when we came. Anyway on Sunday at 8.30 am we left Eskesehir for Istanbul. We passed the same orchards mainly quince I notice, and a few manufacturing plants - near Eskisehir, they were mainly cars.

After a brief stop at one of the rest areas - we had a coffee break and bought some local fruits - we were back on the way. Marwan, the guide wanted to arrive at the bridge before 12 noon he said. The congestion would be bad after that he told us. Even then, we arrived at Istanbul a few kilometers from the bridge to a jam packed road. There seemed to be no end - it was going to be a long crawl. However our driver had a few tricks up his sleeve - he knew of a few short cuts and soon we were on the bridge itself, crossing the Bhosperous going towards the European part of Turkey.

Our hotel , The Titanic, is situated on one of the busy streets of Istanbul - Takseem Road. It's a fairly large hotel, very accessible to most of the large shops and close to many restaurants. Just leave the hotel and immediately you are invited into the numerous little eateries and cafes! Since it was already past lunch time, Marwan took us to a fish restaurant nearby. The soup was really delicious and so was the grilled fish that were served later. According to our guide, food is expensive in Istanbul, especially if one orders ala carte. So we ordered the fixed menu which came to about 98 TL ( double that for USD). There are about 6 people in the group so I think that is fairly reasonable.

After lunch we went back to our hotel for a short rest and came out again around 5pm. We all decided to walk along Takseem Road and just do some window shopping and maybe look for souvenirs to take home. Dinner was at one of the nearby kebab places and by 9pm we decided to go back to the hotel for the night.

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