Today, I had a chance to experience the weekend lockdown in Istanbul. We made our way to Turkey from Ukraine, as we needed visas and Turkey was one of the few countries that was open for US Citizens to visit. So, we mulled it over for a couple of weeks and decided to plan for Turkey.
One day before buying our tickets, we saw that Turkey had gone into a COVID lockdown and that things were rapidly changing from bad to worse. We asked ourselves if we should go to Turkey. Yet, that was the cheapest and easiest option for us, and we saw that much of Istanbul was open for tourists even during the lockdown. We bit the bullet and bought ourselves tickets, leaving and arriving on December 22nd.December 22nd is Beverly's birthday, and we thought it would be a nice time to travel. We had missed traveling over the year due to that nasty pandemic. What a trip it was! We took a train from Dnipro at 6:02 am to Zaporizhzhia and then flew to Istanbul. After arriving, we took a bus and ferry into the city, arriving at our hotel in Fatih (a part of central Istanbul) around 10pm, well after the local curfew hit. The streets were pretty dead and it looked otherworldly--far different than our previous trip to Turkey in 2015.