The last night in Istanbul we relaxed at the hotel. We swam in the freshwater pool and ate at their restaurant and packed. The whole trip was a crazy wonderful experience. We woke at 3:15am to get to the airport on time. Note on international flights back to US from Europe, they are grueling. I made a mental note to always, ALWAYS bring food on the plane. There were times when we hadn’t eaten for hours and hours and were so hungry. The meals on the planes don’t have a lot of food. Bring a snack! The trip home, with stopover in Paris and NYC took over 24 hours. We slept a little on the plane, but can you really call that sleep? So, just a warning for anyone taking those flights, plan on crashing when you get home!
We traveled from Rome to Athens to Istanbul. Every city had its own unique flavor. Rome was a dizzying, expensive, crowded place brimming with ancient wonders. Athens was calm and friendly just as full of incredible ancient sites, but somehow less chaotic and more restful. Istanbul was the crown of our trip, the one we savored the longest and saved for the end to keep the feel of the city with us as we came home. It is so full of people, but, unlike Rome, it felt like a real city. The people were mostly friendly and the Bosphorus breathes a special kind of life into the unique location. Everywhere you go, if you are high enough, you can see the water. What a wonderful thing. Istanbul isn’t perfect, far from it, but I enjoyed getting to know her. I think I will enjoy weaving her into my story even more. What a perfect setting for my book. I fervently hope their current troubles carry them through to better times.