istanbul abu dhabi 132 After 12 long hours we arrived in Istanbul where we were staying for 2 nights before traveling on to Abu Dhabi. Our driver was waiting for us and whisked us to our hotel which was at the end of twisty, cobbled streets. Just as Tripadvisor had suggested, the staff were fabulous and the hotel was beautifully modernized from an old building yet still keeping an ornate Turkish ambience. The cornices in the bedroom were all hand-painted in gold but the bathroom was modern and efficient. I always try the tap water in our exotic locales and it tasted amazing – sweet and pure. It must have been naturally filtered through the hills and limestone. We weren’t too jet-lagged so we started wandering around the city, fascinated by the architecture, the very friendly people and all the stray cats and dogs. Most of them seemed well fed and ‘belonged’ to the local shop or hotel. Some had been tagged as part of a feral release program. All were very friendly, especially the pooches. I was surprised at how accepting the local Muslim people were of the dogs. One old gentleman was holding a stray dog’s face in his hands whispering Turkish sweet nothings to him. Two other shopkeepers were amused by ‘their’ cat predating a bee and two local ladies gave them a row, telling them that the cat could get stung. The cat had great fun and finally killed the poor bee with no ill effects. Click on the red link to see the whole story… POSTCARD FROM ISTANBUL click here

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