19 April Bob's Birthday
Today is Dad's 79th birthday and while he was unable to share it with family and friends, I am sure it is a day he will remember always.
Up early as we are booked to fly to Istanbul this morning. Packed up and quick FaceTime with Sean and Clare for Bob's birthday then walked to Leister Square and tube to Heathrow. Last time I was in Terminal 2 at Heathrow it was a dump, it has been totally rebuilt and is absolutely magnificent.
Checked in and had a coffee and croissant,this having become the standard morning tea here, Mum you'll need to brush up the croissant recipes by the time I return Dad to your care!! Then Dad spoke to both Mum and Marie for his birthday which was nice, just makes you realise how small the world has become.
We then walked about twenty minutes to the gate only to find the plane was delayed, fortunately only about an hour so we just waited at the gate. Plane very full but comfortable and we both had a good meal and read.
Arriving in Istanbul the change in pace was noticeable immediately, people everywhere, queue for immigration took about 45minutes but everyone in good spirits and just a nice atmosphere.
Upon exiting the arrivals hall we were met with a barrage of A4 signs with names from which we needed to find ours to get the ride to the hotel. Just when I thought we were destined to taxi, thinking the free transfer was too good to be true, there was my name taped to the barrier at ankle height.
Introduced Dad to Turkish traffic and rules or lack thereof on the way into town but made it to the hotel unscathed. Raining and wet but even in miserable weather Istanbul looked lovely with tulips and other spring flowers everywhere.
Interesting arriving in Turkey and travelling into Istanbul you would not know that the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli was occurring this week. Unlike home,and despite the fact that twice as many Turks perished defending their country, there is no overt publicity obvious.
Checked in to hotel and seem to have again chosen wisely, rooms spacious really comfortable with really traditional furnishings.
Notably the bathroom is traditional Turkish with waterfall (not sure what else to call it). Bob tried it before dinner and reported the taps seem confusing and "waterfall" is cold.
Dinner in a really quant local diner just around the corner from the hotel. Fabulous meal all for about $16 but alas no Guinness here! Because today was largely travel the only photo for today's blog was dinner!
So on his birthday Bob got to travel to somewhere he not been before and start to experience what the week ahead has for us.