Scenery east of the town of Trai Mat near Da Lat, Vietnam.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Da Lat, Vietnam.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Not sure yet!

Monday, April 18, 2022

A dreary day in Istanbul

Unfortunately the weather isn't cooperating for our visit to Istanbul. Cool, wet, and windy seems to be the narrative for the balance of our time here. We're still getting out and seeing things, although it will give us a reason to return when we can explore under better conditions.

Oh... we got some good news today!

Obviously travel restrictions are still changing daily. Mostly for the better. I went to double check the entry requirements for Bulgaria, and saw this...

UPDATE! As of 13 April 2022 persons, arriving to Bulgaria from the Republic of North Macedonia, the Republic of Turkey, Romania, the Republic of Serbia, Hungary, the Republic of Poland, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Israel and Egypt, will no longer need to present COVID-19 related documents upon arrival in Bulgaria.

Until I read this, we were going to have to get an antigen or PCR test done in order to cross into Bulgaria. The problem is that the European Union (EU) now considers us to be unvaccinated because it has been more than 270 days since our last shot. But many individual EU countries have dropped that stipulation, with Bulgaria becoming the most recent. 

So, one less thing to worry about.

Late yesterday morning we took Cheryl out for kahvalti... the full Turkish breakfast. We've been in Turkiye for almost three months and hadn't yet done that! She knew of a good place, so we walked over there late morning. It was more lunch than breakfast!

This is a waffle place that is really popular.
We didn't eat there, we just thought it was such a colorful place.

Traditional Turkish breakfast.

So they bring you out a wide variety of dishes. Cheeses, breads, salads, olives, sausage, potatoes, eggs, various spreads. You kind of pick at a little bit of everything.

We were stuffed. 90 lira ($7.75 CAD, $6.15 USD) per person.

Then Cheryl pointed us in the right direction and she went back home for some alone time.

We took the ferry again, this time to the Karakoy neighborhood.

Lots of side streets to wander around.

This car looked like it was going to come right down the stairs!

These were some interesting stairs.

We walked up to Galata Tower.

Galata Tower was built in 1348, replacing an earlier tower that had stood since 528. 

Even on a Sunday afternoon in the rain, tourists were lined up to pay 100 lira ($8.65 CAD, $6.85 USD) to go to the top of the tower. 

No thanks.

Another side street to explore.

I checked on Atlas Obscura to see what other interesting things might be in the area, and one thing that came up is the Pera Palace Hotel. This hotel was built in 1892 and is a five star property that once catered to the upper class traveling the original Orient Express route from London or Paris.

So we get there, and there is actually a lineup to get inside! It turns out that there is a recent Netflix show called "Midnight at the Pera Palace" which has made the hotel really popular with people wanting to have a look around.

That, plus they do a really fabulous Afternoon Tea that costs 290 lira ($25 CAD, $20 USD) per person. I think I would be tempted to do that on a future visit.

The Pera Palace Hotel.

The lobby.

The original wood and cast iron elevator.

Elevator structure.

They have a small museum on the second floor...

Looking down on where they do Afternoon Tea.

Unfortunately, no photos allowed in the Afternoon Tea area.

We liked the two female statues holding things up on this building.


Busy Istiklal Street.

Just a big gate.

Back on the ferry.

Not many people on the ferry.

Cheryl made us a delicious stir fry for dinner and we watched a movie in the evening. The other day we had watched CODA which we quite enjoyed, and then last night we watched The Power of the Dog which we did not enjoy.


And in Canada...


  1. Sounds like you are having an interesting time in Istanbul. We recently watched the Pera Palace TV series, it's good historical fiction and we were able to appreciate it well especially after our extended stays in TRNC.

    1. We have been having a good time here in Istanbul unfortunately we aren't doing it much justice. The weather hasn't been nice at all. We will definitely have a return visit that won't feel so rushed and then we can really explore the city and all the different neighbourhoods.

      We look forward to watching the series when we are able to download it.

  2. I have to say, once again, how much you and Ruth are enhancing my life just by sharing yours. The pictures of places I would never be able to go to and the little obscure things that gate, those stairs, the colorful waffle place, etc... just put a smile on my face daily.

    Power of the Dog? All star cast that was wasted. Can't believe the hype it got.

    1. Thank you so much for the wonderful compliment, we are so glad that you are enjoying our posts and pictures and that we can take to to these places virtually and make you smile at the little things.

      The acting was good in the movie but it was just too slow moving and at times a little odd but we really enjoyed CODA.

  3. Also did not like Power of th Dog... we kept waiting for something to happen!

    1. Yep, that was us too, we found it very slow moving!

  4. Been hearing rave reviews about Coda.💙💛

    1. I can understand why, I know that we certainly enjoyed the movie.


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