Thursday, October 1, 2015

Travel basics

Istanbul is 5,229 miles from DC by air, and seven hours later than east coast time. Noon in DC is 7:00 pm in Istanbul.

Uyan Hotel (Sultanahmet); if you take a taxi to return to the hotel, be sure to hand the driver a hotel business card. It's tricky to find and on a pedestrian street. If all else fails, tell your driver to drop you off at the Four Seasons Hotel in Sultanahmet (there is another Four Seasons Hotel on the Bosphorus, so be sure to say Sultanahmet).

Address: Utangaç Sokak No 25* 

For the brave - want to try to say the above address to your taxi driver? Good luck!
*Utangaç (oo-tahn-GAHTCH) Sokak (SOH-kahk)  25 = yirmi beş (YEER-mee BESH)
By the way, the street name, Utangac, means "bashful." Odd, I know.

+90 (212) 516 48 92
+90 (212) 518 92 55

Return to Istanbul, one overnight at:
Hotel Adahan**** (Galata District north of the Golden Horn)
General Yazgan Sokak #14
Known for its rooftop restaurant and hotel interiors restored and furnished in a somewhat spare style.

Origin of street name: General Yazgan (1876-1961) was a senior commander involved in the Turkish War of Independence (1919-1923). He had also distinguished himself in the 1897 Ottoman-Greek War, the Tripoli War, the Balkan Wars and WW I. He retired in 1931 and died in Istanbul in 1961.

The Adahan building used to be the 19th century in-town mansion of the Camondos, a famous Jewish family with a tragic destiny. Count Moïse de Camondo was born in Istanbul in 1860 into a Sepharadic Jewish family that owned one of the largest banks in the Ottoman Empire. When World War I broke out, Moïse’s son Nissim was killed in an air battle. After this tragic loss, the Count decided to bequeath his private residence in Paris to “Les Arts Décoratifs” in memory of his son, and the Musee Nissam de Camondo opened in Paris on the edge of the Parc Monceau in 1935, the year after Moïse de Camondo died. During World War II, further tragedy ensued, when his daughter Béatrice, his son-of-law Léon Reinach and their children died in the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz. Thus the Camondo family line died out. The museum is housed in a mansion built by Count Moïse de Camondo to resemble the Petit Trianon. It is still open today as a museum maintained as if it were a private residence preserved in its original condition, with all of the Count's collection of 18th century French furniture and art objects intact.

$1 = 3 TL (Turkish Lira)
1 TL = $.33

City Guide


Hagia Sophia: winter hours 09:00- 17:00 CLOSED MONDAYS
Topkapi Palace: 09:00 - 17:00  CLOSED TUESDAYS
Grand Bazaar: (Kapalıçarşı) CLOSED SUNDAYS/Bank Holidays
Galata Tower: Open 9-8 daily; admission TL 19 (approx. US $6.35)

1 comment:

  1. This is a most amazing post! This guarantees a successful trip to Istanbul next week! Terry Sisk is the best!!