We have arrived in Istanbul after a very early day of travel.  We woke up at 4am in Verona, Italy.  Our driver was there to pick us up at the Grand Hotel promptly at 5:10am to get us to the airport.  Needless to say, traffic was not bad that early in the morning so we made good time.  Once we got to the airport, it was an easy check in and we were on our way.  We had a brief layover in Rome before catching our connecting flight to Istanbul.  We picked up our luggage, made our way through passport control and customs and were met by Fatih from the TIM Show Center.  It was great to see a smiling face on our arrival!  Not since Josune met us in Bilbao have we been so welcomed to a new city!

Fatih had arranged for our transportation to the hotel.  We are staying in the City Center, close to many incredible things.  Fatih pointed out many of them to us along the way so we can get back to each and visit.  This is a very large city – over 17 million people – and the traffic bears out that fact.  One of the main highways had a massive accident involving 134 cars – a record for Istanbul (and we were here).

When we arrived at the hotel, Olcay was also there to greet us.  I have been emailing with her for several months so it was great to finally met her face-to-face.  Inside the lobby, there was a large poster promoting the performances here.

Once we were settled in our rooms, I had a quick meeting with Olcay and Fatih to talk about upcoming television appearances and the press conference.  She surprised me with a copy of the STAR, the largest newspaper in the city, that included a nice feature on the show and Healing of Magic.

And this very nice flyer….

After our meeting, Cindy and I decided to explore the area and find some food.  We are surrounded by some great places to eat, even if we don’t recognize much of the food.  We stopped off at a little shop and ordered a couple of chicken sandwiches.  We also saw some potato fries and asked for an order of those too.  They gave them to us but they were ON our sandwich!  It was quite tasty!  After dinner, we stopped at another little place for some dessert and coffee – delicious!

We are checked into our hotel for 10 days so we thought we would buy a few things at the grocery store.  That was an awesome experience!  We found so many cool things.  I love the cereal boxes here – very colorful!  And I’m sure the cereal is great too!

After a walk through the neighborhood, we came back to the hotel.  It’s been a very long day but way too early to go to sleep.  The view from our window is magical…tomorrow we’ll visit the Blue Mosque and a few other sights.