I am staying in a vacation rental in Istanbul. Had I seen the neighborhood I might have chosen elsewhere, but prior guests say it is very safe. The studio apartment is in a basement in what in the US would pass for an ally. It’s a traditional Greek and Jewish neighborhood. I will try to take some photos to show you a bit of the people and the businesses.
This morning I took it easy and ventured out after a late breakfast. Armed with Googgle Map (and you know where this is going) directions to a supposedly nearby tourist office to book a day tour of the Sultanamet. Twenty minutes to walk there it said. After 20 minutes and I hadn’t been able to get much farther than the immediate area, after asking directions, I said “uncle” and hailed a “taksi”. After a few turns I realized the driver didn’t know the street where the tour office was located. He pulled over several times to ask directions. He even drove the wrong way up a one way street. Eventually we decided he should let me out. The cost was about $3 for the adventure. I was on the correct street but I couldn’t find the office at all.
I decided to follow the minarets, which was a good plan. Behind a large hotel I did find a tourist office and have booked a tour for tomorrow. I’ve been having a bit of cake and tea while writing this. The call to prayer just sounded. Now I am eating cookies.