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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Istanbul, Turkey

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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May 22, 2016 - Day 30: Journey home

it was a long flight to say the least. Thankfully, there were no issues. Helped a lady traveling from Pakistan to Canada to see her son graduate from business school. Slept during the first couple hours of the flight then stayed away to help negate any jet lag developing when I get home. Zarish picked me up from LAX. I can honestly say that I was blessed to have the opportunity to travel and I am just as blessed to be back home safe and sound where I belong. The trip may be over and I now have to return to work tomorrow but the memories of...

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May 21, 2016 - Day 29: Relaxing day to end our vacation.

Can't believe it's the last day of my vacation. I'm happy everything went smoothly without a huge incident. We took the day to relax, walk around the city, do some shopping, and in general take it easy. As we were haggling over prices in a jewelry shop, I joked about giving him my fake 200 lira Bill abd the shopkeeper actually showed me a fake 100 dollar bill that someone gave him. I felt so bad for him that I don't feel so bitter anymore. $100 is 300 liras for him. That's probably more than what he makes all day. Pretty sad. Another...

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May 20, 2016 - Day 28: Venturing out to the Grand bazaar and spice bazaar

Decided to go to Beyazit mosque to pray today. Should have just gone to the blue mosque because there was hardly any space to pray. The inside of the mosque was completely full and the outside tent was full also. Women almost got in a fight when an old lady tried to tell everyone to move so more women can fit. One woman made me wear a long dress over my clothes before praying. An interesting thing I notice is that while in US jumaa prayer is 2 rakat, in Morocco it was 4 rakat, and in Turkey it is 2 rakat. We went to the Grand bazaar which...

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May 19, 2016 - Day 27: Exploring the old city of Istanbul

Today was our first day in Istanbul. We decided to stay around our hotel and see all the historic places around our area. Our hotel is in a great location. Everything is not only walking distance, it's right next to each other. I completely put away my phone for directions and just asked people where to go next. Literally for the most part the answer need up being, go straight then take a left and you'll be there 𯘂 We had a great day. We went to the bacilica cistern and had our pictures taken in costumes. We bought a museum pass because in...

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May 18, 2016 - Day 26: Last stop: Istanbul

Today was a typical travel day. Considering that we had an afternoon flight, I woke up early, packed, got ready and then went out to wander the city. There's not much more you can do when you have a mid day flight. I came back with breakfast, Mahwish was ready so we left around 11:30 am. We took the AeroBus to the airport which was actually really comfortable and convenient. The airport was huge. We checked in our bags which was a blessing. Once we finally got to our gate, we found out that our flight was more than an hour delayed. That has...

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Apr 24, 2016 - Sydney to Istanbul, Turkey

Saturday 23rd April 2016 – Sunday 24th April 2016 Sydney to Istanbul, Turkey After being dropped at Sydney Airport by our house sitter Jeff, we checked in and waited for our flight. The flight left about half an hour late. We sat in the back row of the plane – no one can kick the back of your seat there. There were quite a few empty seats but not in our row of three. It was 14 hours 50 mins to Abu Dhabi. The flight was pretty bumpy. We had about 3 hours layover in Abu Dhabi before we set off again in a smaller plane for the 5 hour flight to...

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Jan 20, 2016 - To Bangkok Via Istanbul

Another bright, sunny but freezing cold morning. We took the free shuttle to the airport in the morning, driven by a very pleasant chatty chap. Check-in & security were simple & hassle free, for a change. We still had a couple of hours to kill before our initial flight to Istanbul at 11.40am so we had a light breakfast of porridge & bacon rolls. The flight to Istanbul was about four hours, then we had a two hour wait till the onward flight to Bangkok. This flight was about 8hrs, took us through the night & we landed in Bangkok at 9.30am...

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South East Asia 2016

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