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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Istanbul, Turkey

Sep 26, 2015 - Blue Mosque, Footy and Shopping

Saturday 26th September Woke to another beautiful morning, firstly with the call to prayer around 5am, then awaking properly at 7am. Quite hungry lot this morning so down to the breakfast room for our usual round of Turkish delicacies. Not quite sure if I can appreciate the quite earthy goat flavour of Turkish butter. Quite strong compared to what we are used to with our bland cows milk butter. Turkish butter tends to overpower whatever you put on top of it Nevertheless, with our tummies fortified for the day, we made the short walk to the...

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Sep 25, 2015 - Istanbul Unmasked

Our first really leisurely morning this morning but we are all keen to get going and explore this fantastic city. Had a filling breakfast of the usual Turkish treats. Got a great tram system in Istanbul and we will make trhe most of it today. John bought a tram card from reception and we just needed to walk up the street from the hotel a short way to the closest tram stop where we could add money to the card via the automatic machines at the stop. No need to buy three cards, just one of us go through the turnstile, hand the card to the next...

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Sep 24, 2015 - Is It Istanbul or Constantinople?

Thursday 24th September Still woke around 7am to clean up the apartment ready to move on to our next destinatiobn – Istanbul, Turkey. Our host, Christos telephoned last night and offered to take us to the airport this morning for €30 instead of trying to take a taxi with our luggage. He has the apartment rented out again as of midday today and was hoping we could vacate early so he can get the cleaner in. Doesn’t worry us at all, much easier that he takes us. He is not a bad young guy, an architect who is finding the economy and political...

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Sep 24, 2015 - Istanbul by Day

Today, Thursday, is the beginning of a 4 day national religious holiday Feast of the Sacrifice (Kurban Bayramı) – a festival where sheep are sacrificed/slaughtered and their meat is distributed to the poor. I think that in the city this translates into – shops, banks, etc. are closed for the first day, since I haven’t seen any sheep in the streets. And, I think most people head for the beaches on the Mediterranean. So, I hire a guide (yesterday) to wander around the main places in Istanbul, and more importantly to cut lines. I like how they...

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Sep 23, 2015 - Istanbul - Day 7 - Blue Mosque

This is the first full day of the Overseas Adventure Travel Tour - the entire group was together for the first time today. There are a total of 11 of us plus our wonderful leader Gouca (pronounced Gon-jah). Three couples and the rest single women. I am the youngest by at least 10 years but all of the couples are in much better shape than I am in. We have a very, very long day today. We start out at 8:15 with a group meeting to go over the day and then left on the bus at 9 am. We were dropped off at the site of the old Roman Hippodrome. In...

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Fall 2015: Turkey

Sep 22, 2015 - Reflections on Paris and Intro to an Exotic New Place

After five days of nonstop activities around the wedding, plus flying from Jackson to Paris, it's time for a down day. The night of the wedding, a bus was supposed to come at 1:00am, 2:30, and 4:00am to pick up people and deliver them to the Trianon Palace Hotel in Versailles and also to Paris. Well, the one o'clockers were waiting, and waiting and waiting. no bus. So we were able to rouse a Uber car to show up at the remote location at 2:15. I and three others got in, drove down the road a ways, and there is the bus! Neither the Uber...

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Sep 14, 2015 - Istanbul - Day 6 - Down Day

I am usually very lucky when I travel. In all the times I've been to Mexico I always have avoided Montezuma's Revenge. I don't even carry meds for it because I never get it. But this morning some dead Sultan somewhere got his revenge on me right after breakfast. Sorry Perry, no pictures. Afterward, although I slept well the night before, I slept another two hours. I went to the lobby restaurant for a quick lunch and slept another two hours. It is 8:30pm now and I am feeling much better but I'm going to go to sleep now and feel like I should...

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Fall 2015: Turkey

Sep 13, 2015 - Istanbul - Day 5 - Galata Tower, a view over all Istanbul

Today we had an optional $110 day tour. Jan and I passed and decided to go off on our own. We headed off to find the closest Metro stop but first came to a very pretty, very large mosque that I hadn't seen yet in my previous wanderings. This one is the Sehzande Mosque. Sinan (the architect for Suleyman the Magnificent) began building this mosque as the great mosque for Suleyman but as it was under construction Sinan realized he could built a mosque larger so Suleyman dedicated this mosque to his son and Sinan did eventually build the larger...

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Fall 2015: Turkey

Sep 12, 2015 - Istanbul - Day 4 - Lunch and Chora Church

After the Museums we walked over to the Oriental Express Train station (I posted earlier) and met our bus there. We were driven out to the old city walls. Just inside those walls was a church we were to visit call Kariye or Chora Church which means "Church in the country" because at the time the first church on this site was built (in the 4th century) it was outside the city. Before visiting it we went to lunch at a restaurant that serves Ottoman Cuisine, Asitane. Its menu "comprises only dishes featured in the kitchens of the royal palaces...

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Fall 2015: Turkey

Sep 12, 2015 - Istanbul - Day 4 - Basilica Cistern, the Archaeological Museum

We started the day at the Basilica Cistern. This cistern was built during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian between 527 and 565 AD. This, along with many other water cisterns helped protect the water supply of Istanbul, particularly during sieges. The cistern is 140 m long and 50 m wide. There are 336 columns each 9 m high. All of the columns were "scavenged" from other buildings. The columns' capitals are of several different styles (Corinthian, Ionic or Doric). The columns are in 9 rows, with 28 columns in each row, standing 4.8 m...

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Fall 2015: Turkey

Sep 11, 2015 - Istanbul - Day 3 - Do Not much of Anything Day

I was working on the postings from the previous day and the time got away from me. I was fully awake and finally making progress but when I looked at the clock it was at 4 am. So I don't feel too bad about sleeping until 10:30 am this morning, missing my free wonderful breakfast buffet that ended at 10:00. By the time I got ready and out the door it was 11:30 so I went to find lunch. I had seen a place within the mosque complex across the street that had looked good so that is where I went. The place had been an old water cistern for the...

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Fall 2015: Turkey

Sep 10, 2015 - Istanbul - Day 2 - Walk around "Old Town"

The camera store I went to only had high end Canons - far beyond my budget but they did have a simple Nikon 20 pixels with decent zoom (not as good as the Canon, though - very small and light weight - and about $90. I knew I would need an extra battery - I rarely get past lunch on the first one. It was another $30. I was relieved to get away for only that much - and the pictures in the outdoors aren't bad. The difference will be obvious though in low light settings where I can't use a flash. After the camera adventure I walked all over the...

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Fall 2015: Turkey

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