November 2, 2009

Breakfast and Hotel in Istanbul

We started off every day at our hotel's breakfast buffet, which was very different from one in the States. Rows of olives, dried fruits and cereal to put with yogurt (no milk in sight), big bowls of jams and honey, different breads, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes, mild beyaz peynir cheese and hard cheeses, hard-boiled eggs, and various desserts including chocolate cake (made me think of Bill Cosby's monologue about chocolate cake for breakfast). Yes, Greg had chocolate cake every morning. The only reason you don't see it in his plate in the photo on the right is because he went back for it after finishing everything else.

The rooms in this hotel were clean and cozy (read between the lines here: tiny, but comfortable for our needs). It was well-situated and quiet at night, which was all we needed.

Greg touching both sides of the room--it was that small! However, I think we expected this because of the reviews we had read of other hotels in Istanbul. Walking down the streets in Sultanahmet (the old city district with many of the key sights), the majority of the hotels were smaller like ours. There were no 10-story behemoths that you might see in other cities because there simply wasn't room for them. The houses were so scrunched together and the streets were already so tight... it would have been impossible. Plus, when you're in Istanbul, there's no reason to hang out in your hotel. You hang out at the cafes and restaurants along the way.

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