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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Istanbul, Turkey

Feb 14, 2017 - Entebbe, Uganda

Turkish Air provides first-rate service and after our two uneventful flights, we arrived at Entebbe at 03:02 Feb14th. Efficient pick-up by Paul of the "YUL x 4" Party got us to Protea Hotel  and later in a.m. taken by Steve to Lake Victoria Serena Hotel outside Entebbe on Lake Victoria and is a very nice hotel, Beautiful rooms, friendly Staff but lacks in the food department. Picturesque overlooking the lake and situated on a golf course. After one-day vegging went to Chimpanzee Sanctuary on Ngamba Island one hour off shore and just across...

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Feb 13, 2017 - Stop over in Istanbul

Might as well get some angst out of the way early on! First scare of trip was two-hour snow delay in Montreal due to snowstorm!  Sat at de-icing station for ages while the plows removed the snow from the taxi –lanes. With three-hour connection in Istanbul it seemed obvious that our just-in-case Turkey Visas were to come in handy.   Got to arrivals Gate 213 in Istanbul with ten minutes to spare before boarding at Gate 214 for takeoff of connecting flight to Entebbe.  Thanks to Claudio's App he was able to tell that flight departure was one...

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Oct 14, 2016 - Turkey ... ISTB - Taksim Sq & Istiklal St.

Taksim Square is situated in the European part of Istanbul and is a major tourist and leisure district famed for its restaurants, shops, and hotels. It is considered the heart of modern Istanbul, with it being the central station of the Metro network and the top of the famous Istiklal Street. (a pedestrian street, 1.4 kilometers long, which houses boutiques, music stores, bookstores, art galleries, cinemas, theatres, libraries, cafés, pubs, night clubs with live music, historical patisseries, chocolateries and restaurants ... and...

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Oct 12, 2016 - Turkey ... ISTB - Blue Mosque & Hagia Sophia

The Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque) ... was constructed between 1609 and 1616 and today is not only a functioning mosque, but also a very popular tourist site. 20,000 Incredible hand-painted blue tiles cover the mosque’s interior walls and more than 200 stained glass windows allow in light. At night the mosque is bathed in blue as lights frame the five main domes, six minarets and eight secondary domes. Women are allowed inside the inner square as well inside the mosque for prayers, but must be covered with a head scarf and no skin...

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Oct 11, 2016 - Turkey ... ISTB-Grand Bazaar & Spice Market

The Grand Bazaar is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. It has 67 covered streets (which bear the name of the sellers of a particular good) and over 4,000 shops. It also has several squares used for the daily prayers, 5 mosques, 7 fountains, 18 gates which are opened each day in the morning and closed in the evening. They estimate that between 250,000 and 400,000 people visit daily, depending on the season. In 2014, it was listed No.1 among world's most-visited tourist attractions with over 91 million visitors. It is...

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Oct 10, 2016 - Turkey ... Istanbul (ISTB) - Around Town

We arrived in Istanbul after a good flight from Dubrovnik ... no problems and our first impression was how helpful and friendly people were. Istanbul is the only city in the world that sits on two continents. It straddles Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait. When you walk around the old city, the architecture, people and food reflects cultural influences of the many empires that once ruled here. Roman, Greek, Egyptian, Venetians, Ottoman, Turkish. It is a city that hits all your senses. The prayers playing over huge loud speakers 5...

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Jun 18, 2016 - Istanbul - last day

Upon arrival last Wednesday we decided to book ourselves on two tours. One, a must from my perspective and thankfully Rose agreed, that would be the cruise of the Bosporus. The second was a ½ day walking tour of some of the “regular” sites in Sultanahmet the old part of Euro Istanbul. We did so thinking that even though we may not have as much historical motivation during the waning days of our “tour”, by making this booking we would have at least some commitment to get out there on our last day. HA! I must admit that we are not big fans of...

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Jun 17, 2016 - Istanbul Day 3

We spent the morning getting a few things organized including a blogging catch-up. A nice light lunch at yet another local restaurant preceded our hike to the Spice Market which we decided was within walking distance. However, we also decided that the most expedient route was to follow the tram tracks as our map was not detailed and we know how easy it is to get lost in those twisty windy streets of old town. We do have Google of course but at US$9.00 per meg for Turkish data (ouch!) we try to avoid using it. This trek took us along...

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Jun 16, 2016 - Istanbul Day 2

Thursday morning we wandered up to the Blue Mosque, a short walk away and got to know our area a little as we hiked along. There are plentiful restaurants and shops where, for the most part, the vendors are polite. A few were somewhat persistent but by our second trip around they seemed to have us pegged. There were plenty of police and security around. We took a Bosporus cruise in the afternoon for a couple of hours. Very interesting as the amount of boating and shipping activity is quite astonishing. There are 3 bridges currently crossing...

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Jun 15, 2016 - Istanbul

Istanbul, Constantinople, Byzantium, Augusta and Stamboul are some of the many names that this Eurasian city of 18 million has known. Founded in 667 BC by Byzas, King of Thrace, makes it sound like it was invented by Edgar Rice Burrows. However, Thrace was a Kingdom located between the Bosporus and present day Bulgaria. Stamboul airport is LARGE for this the largest city of our tour. Our hotel is in Sultanahmet the old section of the European side of the city, which is on the west side of the Golden Horn. The Golden Horn is a north westerly...

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Jun 8, 2016 - In Istanbul, Turkey

Wednesday 8th June 2016 Isn'ttanbul, Turkey Up late today and had breakfast in the hotel. Then went out shopping for the morning to the Egyptian Spice Market then back to the hotel, then out again for more souvenir shopping to the Grand Bazaar, then back to the hotel for a break before going out to dinner. Today is the last day before we leave and the weather is fine, cool and breezy around 21C. We have had a great holiday in Turkmenistan, the Caucasus and Turkey. Almost time to return to Australia and reflect on all the things we have...

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May 26, 2016 - In Istanbul, Turkey

Wednesday 25 May 2016 In Istanbul, Turkey Had breakfast in the hotel across the street then went out for a tour of the city's main highlights. We drove down past the main railway station which once was the last stop on the Orient Express. Once we had met all the other small buses and been allocated the correct one for our particular day trip, we drove to the Hippodrome built in Roman times – there is nothing left of it apart from a couple of columns and then went to the incomparable Blue Mosque (Mosque of Sultan Ahmet) built in 1609, the...

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