Friday, January 27, 2012

Day 7 : A Day at the Pera Palas Hotel

It was too cold and windy to walk the streets and we headed straight to the Pera Palas Hotel. This is a historic hotel - being the final destination for the passengers of the ' Oriental Express' - the famed choo-choo train that ran from Paris to Istanbul - made famous by Agatha Christie in one of her many books - "Murder on the Orient Express". She was one of the distinguished guests of this hotel amongst many other luminaries which included the famous writer, Hemingway, and the actress Greta Garbo.
Pakdokter had stayed at this hotel during one of the earlier trips to Istanbul some 6 or 7 years ago. When pakdokter was last here 5 years ago, it was closed for renovation. It has been reopened a year or so ago and despite its polished and refreshed look, it has retained its old charm. The hotel Public Relation Officer took pakdokter and partner to a tour of the hotel. Unfortunately, Agatha Christie's room was occupied by a guest and was not available for tour. The hotel rooms today cost from 240 Euros a night.

jazz concerts on some nights at the Orient Bar
antique chandeliers and ornate roofs and walls

we warmed up to a glass of 'raki'
and a cup of cappucino

this 'antique' elevator is still functional

guests from the Orient Express used to be carried in this
from the train station to the hotel....

After the drinks we decided to walk back to Istiklal Kaddesi
and visited a jeweller we had befriended in one of the bazaars
during our last trip.
The same girl and her family is still operting the business
and is now marketing their works to UAE and Brunei?
We advised them to try come to Malaysia.

this narrow street is lined with restaurants, pubs, bistros and bars

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