I got in to my hotel in Istanbul about 7pm yesterday after an interminable taxi ride through pollution and traffic. Since I have today free, I called the concierge to see about arranging some sort of tour. I figured I'd be happier in a bus (hopefully air-conditioned) than walking around and breathing pollution.
No luck. The "Tour of Turkey" bicycle race is starting today, so the roads around the hotel are closed. They could put me on a Bosphorus cruise at 1, but since the conference tour includes a Bosphorus cruise, I think I'll pass. I've spent the past 7 days working, traveling, or both. The conference opening reception is tonight, so I will technically be working tonight, but otherwise a day to relax doesn't sound too bad.
My hotel room is very nice. The desk clerk apologized for not being able to upgrade me to the executive floor, so they gave me a corner room (and free breakfasts). One window has a view of some allegedly fashionable neighborhood of Istanbul, and the other looks out on the Bosphorus. I slept very soundly, despite an excessively firm bed and dragged myself downstairs before the breakfast buffet closed at 11. I plan to spend the rest of the day ensconced in the room enjoying the Internet connection.