Sunday May 6, 2012
I thought I would jot a few things down that I recommend or that helped us while we were here.
1. Burcu will give you her business card...keep it handy and use it to call her if you need anything. We called her a couple times so she could talk to the cab drivers and let them know where we wanted to go. The hospital address and name is on there as well which also helps.
2. Get a business card from a taxi driver as well. We would use it at the train station to call a cab from our cell phone but just ask anyone and they will usually help you out.
3. Cook in the hotel room to save money. The hotel doesn't supply anything at all to cook with so we bought a couple pans, plastic plates, and a few cooking utensils and forks. We also bought napkins, dish soap and a sponge. We are going to try and leave a box with things that we purchased and items that Kim and Jeff left here so that future couples don't have to buy as much. Just ask at the desk when you arrive.
4. Take the public transport when you can. If we were here longer we would learn how to ride the blue and yellow shared buses but the train is very easy and cheap too. The ferry to get to the islands or the European side is also cheap.
5. Buy a transportation card at the kiosks in the train stations or around the ferries. I believe it was 6 or 7 TL. You load the card with Turkish Liras at the same kiosks or there are machines before you get on the trains and ferries. The card will get you on all trains and ferries. There are discounted prices if you swipe the card again within an hour I believe, but it usually costs 1.75 TL for the trains and ferries to the European side and 3 TL to the Princes' Islands. I think without the card it is more expensive.
6. Don't always rely on a wake-up call from the front desk at the hotel. They forgot to call a couple times and luckily we didn't miss any appointments. Set your cell phone alarm or bring a small clock because there is not one in the room.
7. The mini bar is stocked when you get here and from what I read on other blogs it adds up quickly and is expensive, so we stayed away.
8. I brought a few 1 load packs of laundry detergent with me to wash cloths. I was pretty sure there wouldn't be any facilities as I asked Burcu and I didn't want to spend a lot of money having the hotel launder things. Being here for three weeks I had to hand wash things a few times and hang them p to dry, it actually worked out great.
9. We bought an English to Turkish pocket dictionary here but you might want to get one before you come. They have a few different letters and it is helpful to learn the pronunciation of them.
10. You can bargain at the bazaars and street markets very easily. Regular shops the prices are usually set but we bargained for fruits, veggies, souvenirs, nuts, etc at the Spice Bazaar and the Saturday market in Pendik.
11. Most of all, enjoy your time here. It was a very relaxing experience for us and we are both glad we did it no matter what happens in the near future. We know we would do it again but we are praying we won't need to.
If I think of more I will add to the post....
Tomorrow is the day for our transfer so we will find out how our embryos did over the weekend.
More on our journey tomorrow...