The group has finally assembled at the Garden House hotel in Sultanahmet, despite a few of us having literally to traverse across the world from Asia to be here, and some traveled through Europe by bus and plane for 12 hours due to the Belgian air strike yesterday.
Most fittingly, East meeting West in this magnificent city. The Sultanahmet area is the old part of the City where narrow cobbled streets crisscross in a tightly packed half a square mile, just south of the Blue Mosque and the Haghia Sophia. We are literally a couple of hundred meters from the Hippodrome, the oldest part of Istanbul, built in 230AD, during the reign of Roman Emperor Septimus, and made famous by Charlton Heston in the flick Ben Hur racing horse drawn chariots.
The hotel has a shady dining courtyard, and we had our intros over drinks coupled with a make-shift slide show projected onto the off white plastered perimeter wall, to the amusement of the local staff.