My next adventure: Valletta (Malta) – May 2024

Day 1 (Istanbul) – IST Airport Experience

Living in the UK, it’s difficult to imagine that one has never rolled around Türkiye (Turkey) in nearly 32 years considering that it is one of the ‘go to’ places for British tourists. The question when planning this trip was, however, where should myself and Superbunny go? The metropolis of Istanbul (which is home to over 10 million inhabitants making it the most populous city in Europe and ranked as one of the biggest in the world) has always intrigued oneself due to it straddling both Europe and Asia plus its importance in regards to the Silk Road.

London Heathrow was the airport of choice for this excursion, in particular, T5 which one hasn’t visited since COVID and to my surprise, not much had changed. Flying with British Airways always means that Superbunny gets it’s own container which ensures that no baggage can fall on top etc.

After roughly 3.5 hours, we touched down at the behemoth of Istanbul Airport which opened in 2019 and is currently the 5th busiest in the world. Akin to other airports around the world, one had to collect the electric wheelchair from baggage reclaim. The large expanse was apparent during the never ending journey to reclaim Superbunny. The staff were, on the other hand, rather rude and simply answered ‘no’ when asked if they could help said wheelchair off the trolley.

Given the size of Istanbul, one thought that sourcing a wheelchair accessible taxi to transport us to the hotel would be an easy task…should have learnt by now never to assume! After a while of Googling, I came across Accessible Istanbul, who, thankfully have a fleet of accessible vehicles albeit at a hefty cost.

However, we did see a few other taxis with ramps hence one will be looking out for more during the week. It is also worth noting that, as of 2024, Istanbul Airport (IST) are vastly improving the public transportation network from said location which will be much cheaper and, of course, accessible.

Whilst exploring this vast city over the next 4 days, we are staying at the Hampton by Hilton (Zeytinburnu) which is slightly outside the tourist centre (clearly not in the nicest of areas with little in the way of restaurants). The room is pretty standard with ample space and a decent size shower seat…

The hotel is conveniently located just minutes away from the Marmaray railway which takes you direct into the heart of the city’s Fatih district in under 10 minutes which is home to The Blue Mosque, The Hagia Sophia and within walking distance to the Grand Bazaar, all of which will be explored tomorrow.

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Day 2 (Istanbul) – Mosques and The Grand Bazaar

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