We were late out of Heathrow because a cargo company worker decided to carelessly dump sump boxes behind our plane meaning we were 45minutes late for take off...
Once on the British Airways flight it was... mind-numbingly dull. The 3 hour flight is long enough so you get bored but short enough for BA to use a crampt plane with no TVs etc.
We landed in Istanbul, shrouded in fog under a deluge. Migration was a tad hectic, now probably one of very few people on Earth who can say they have a Honduran and a Turkish stamp in the same place. After that it was then a long slog on the Metro to Yenikapi, a central metro station, that happened to be at the very end of line and the closest station to my hostel.
Suprisingly, much of metro was overground, rocketing past endless beeping traffic jams and huge lit-up shopping mall complexes. All in the cold and wet.
Getting out of Yenikapi station was itself another adventure. Took about 3 attempts to actually find the exit after visits to multiple platforms with trains bound for other parts of Istanbul.
Once out in the rain, I discovered R. It appears R isn´t actually data or the internet but meant I had at least enough signal or whatever it was to navigate Istanbul's cold, puddle-plotted labyrinthine streets in the dark and find my hostel.
It was one of the most surreal experiences I´ve had travelling. I´m in the Beyazit neighborhood roughly, home to Algerian shipping companies, Uzbekistani cotton merchants (and a sizeable number of Uzbek-looking young men walking around) and a number of Afro-Caribbean corner shops.
After dumping my stuff at the hostel (whilst trying not to awaken a pair of snoring Koreans) I went exploring further. This part of Istanbul is hardly photogenic to say that least but still, it´s a bizarre mismatch of almost Soviet style dilapidated flat blocks with the occasional ancient, ornate mineret or orthodox church dotted around.
I finally settled on a very local place for dinner and had some Kofte - sort of lamb burgery things, with soggy chips and copious amounts of luke warm bread that you're not sure whether to eat all of it or not until it appears there´s definitely nothing else supposed to be coming with it and so you´re just sat there chomping on mouthfuls of plain bread...
Have got damp toes but also am very much looking forward to exploring Istanbul. Capital of the Byzantine and then the Ottoman Empíres, hopefully should be a lot to keep entertained the next few days.