Greetings from Istanbul, yes you read right, Istanbul.

I must admit, that when things started getting violent here a few weeks ago I was worried that the trip I had planned for months would suffer, but so far, so good.

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I am here a day ahead of the rest of my group, so have just sat down to dinner at the rooftop restaurant of my hotel with this as my view. And so far I have not seen any sign of the issues that are developing daily.

That said, they will affect us a bit as we need to be a bit more cautious about where we go, and tomorrow before my friends arrive I have been told to stay close to the hotel or to walk towards the port. Neither of which seem to be bad options, and it wasn’t so much that other areas would be dangerous, more that streets might get closed between my going and returning such that I might have troubles getting back in an area where I don’t know my way around.

The journey also had a few issues, but I am sure all will be resolved soon. There were crazy thunderstorms in the US yesterday and as such my flight was about 2 hours late leaving and nearly as much arriving. This made what was to be a leisurely connection be not quite so and resulted in my bag not making my connecting flight.

Of course the ensuing paperwork took so long that I was sure my arranged ride to my hotel had left so when I didn’t see a placard with my name I didn’t even thing to retread the instructions to make sure that I was looking in the right place, which of course I wasn’t. Thankfully after a few text messages and some probably expensive calls to the US I was able to connect with my driver.

The drive was also interesting, we kept getting off of what appeared to be main roads to wind around and then join either the same main road or another one, I couldn’t always tell. Sometimes it looked like we were heading down a dead end only to have a new route appear just in time. I think out was to avoid traffic, which was quite slow but I’m not sure it helped all that much.

I then got a great surprise, they had arranged for our tour guide to meet me at my hotel even though I was arriving a day early. So after checking in and freshening up a bit (thanks to the travel kit I got on board since I was in first) I was able to have a drink with him, chat a bit, and then he took me to a local shop to buy something to wear tomorrow.

Finally, I must admit it is a strange feeling sitting here waiting for my check and hearing Rhapsody on Blue in the background, not the normal setting that I hear that in!

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