We arrived in Istanbul via the world (it seemed) on May 16, boarded the Noordam on the 17 and finally got to see a little of the city the next day. The ship docked just down from the Galata Tower, a structure built in 528 A.D. It sits atop one of the hills of the city and has a wonderful view of the city and the Bosphorus. The entrance fee is 13 lira or about $60 and of course there is a line to reach the top but it moves quite quickly. If you enjoy views and/or photography take some time to visit.
When we were at our hotel the night before boarding, we took a walk to the mall down the street for a bit of dinner.
Along the way we passed several trucks lined up by a factory with the drivers milling about and chatting. On the way back we noticed that they were seated by the trucks and had a flap down to show a little stove top where they were cooking dinner. We stopped to say hi and were invited to three separate dinners and/or tea on the street. Their English was nonexistent as was our Turkish but their hospitality was understood loud and clear.
Joanne Gardner is Noordam’s future cruise consultant.