Blogs from Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Marmara, Turkey, Middle East

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Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet July 4th 2014

Woolly says – Our time in Istanbul certainly seemed to go too quickly, although not our usual independent way of travelling it proved to be highly successful and excellent value for money. We booked the three days, two night tour through one of the tour shops in Alanya and for 900 TL (approximately £250 GBP) we had all of the transfers, flights to and from Antalya to Istanbul (including snacks on the plane), two nights’ accommodation, a cruise on the Bosphorus and a half day Istanbul classics tour included in the package. I was well impressed. The tours would have cost 35 Euro each if booked separately (approximately £28.00 GBP) and when Jo priced everything up separately we found that we saved £30.00 GBP overall leaving extra money for snacks! We had expected the price of ... read more
Graves at the Pierre Lotti Coffee house
Different Architecture
Mammoth enjoying the Lights

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet July 3rd 2014

With our time running out in Istanbul we still had a couple of places to see, abandoning the thought of public transport we opted for a taxi to get a head start on the day. Woolly says – Jo hadn’t told me a lot about our first destination but I had caught a snippet of conversation about Mini Turks, maybe we were off to visit Woolly sized Turkish people, it’s always nice to meet people of your own vertically challenged proportions so as the taxi sped through the city I kept my eyes peeled for some new friends. He hadn’t heardcorrectly but then when you consider the amount of jam and marmalade he stores in his ears this is hardly surprizing. Miniatürk is a miniature park situated at the north-eastern shore of the Golden Horn... read more
Mardin - another place that we must go to
Following in the footsteps of Top Gear
Playing the game

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet July 2nd 2014

Woolly says – Having already checked out the Turkish buffet breakfast and helped the kitchen in reducing the quantity of boiled eggs I hurried back upstairs to make sure the girls were up and moving. Thankfully even daughter Zoe was shuffling about and as I hustled them down to the reception desk we made it just in time for our tour of the day. Our coach delivered us safely to our first destination, the famous Blue Mosque. With cameras clicking we waited in line to enter, I covered myself appropriately before finding that I had a slight problem. We didn’t have the heart to tell Woolly that only head, shoulders and leg needed covering and then only if you’re female as he provided great entertainment for the growing crowd as he staggered round with a scarf ... read more
Hagia Sophia
Dome of the Blue Mosque
The Blue Mosque1

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet July 1st 2014

Woolly says – I learnt something new today! There are TWO 4 o’clocks, although why I had to be woken from my slumbers to discover the other one is beyond me. To add insult to injury I was shovelled onto a coach with only a mars bar to keep my strength up before suffering the indignity of looking for a hoover at the domestic terminal, they might have told me I had the wrong end of the stick! It was funny watching the Mammoth searching high and low for the domestic appliances at the airport and even though his sense of humour had been left on the ground he cheered up considerably when the nice cabin crew handed him a toasted cheese sandwich and I’m sure the other passengers didn’t really mind sharing there’s with him. ... read more
Should be enough room for me
Contrasts
Pretty - that's me NOT the building!

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet June 19th 2014

Today was a day for new experiences. After getting up on Wednesday at 4:15, 3 flights, the last being 10 hours long, we arrived in Istanbul tired and jet lagged. While it was 9 AM here, it really felt like 1 AM back home. We found ourselves on a crowded TRAM full of frowny people, made it to our hotel, cleaned up and resisted the urge to sleep. We ventured out without much of a clue as to where we were going, but with a sense of adventure and learned some things. Istanbul is a ancient city full of all kinds of people, just like anywhere you might travel. The difference here for us is that not many people speak English, so when exploring we are pretty much on our own. While Turkey is a secular ... read more
Random Minaret
Egyptian Obelisk near Blue Mosque
Chuck exercising his keen eye.

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Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet June 11th 2014

Chuck and I are busy finishing our packing and planning for our big trip. In one week, we are leaving for our cruise. We have our passports ready, our Turkish visas printed, hotel reservations secured in Istanbul and Rome, and our texting and data plans set up so we can blog stories and pictures of our trip. Our itinerary will be: June 17 Overnight in St. Louis June 18 Flight to Chicago, Toronto and then Istanbul on AirCanada June 19 9:00 AM Arrive in Istanbul- Check into hotel, sightsee, Topkapi Palace, Bosporus Cruise, Archeaology Museum June 20 More sightseeing: Blue Mosque, Hajia Sophia, Grand Bazaar, Bridge from Europe to Asia, Whirling Dirvishes June 21 More sightseeing, Board the Cruise Ship (Celebrity Equinox). Celebrate Birthday at dinner on board. June 22 Mykonos Island, Greece. Explore the Island, ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet June 9th 2014

It is evening. A fingernail moon hangs in the clear sky. We sit at an outside table along the promenade eating spinach pastries and drinking the local salty-yoghurt concoction known as Ayrun. At the cafe next to ours, young girls in diaphanous pastel gowns celebrate their middle-school graduation by dancing to electronic bouzouki music. Before us rolls the dark Bosphorus. Its surface swollen with eddies and foam-starred spiral galaxies as powerful, ancient currents propel water and ships from the Black Sea southward past the Dardanelles to the Marmara Sea. A long suspension bridge slung between Asia and Europe changes color as we watch, from deep sea-blue to lavender to shades of red and white. An old, crenelated, thick-towered fortress lies just across the seaway. We are in Istanbul, Turkey and it is more than we had ... read more
KJ Gets Her Look On Outside The Blue Mosque
Mumbai
Lonely In Abu Dhabi

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet May 28th 2014

War nur ein kurzer Fahrtag, aber die Durchquerung von Istanbul sorgt immer für Unterhaltung. Habe immerhin die Fähre gleich gefunden, und mir damit einen langen Weg durchs Getümmel der Stadt gespart. Jetzt bin ich wieder im Armada und mache gerade große Wäsche. Die Fahrt an der Schwarzmeerküste entlang war faszinierend - es ging 50 km lang durch Hasel-Haine. Werde beim nächsten Haselnusskauf nachschauen, ob die aus der Türkei sind... Habe einen Dr gesprochen, er hat enttäuscht die Säge wieder weggepackt. Soll heimfahren und daheim nochmal anschauen lassen. Also alles hervorragend.... read more
Wilde Bauwut, nicht nur an der Schwarzmeerküste
Zigeunerlager
Hasel-Haine

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet May 11th 2014

Rıesenfrühstueck auf der Hotelterrasse (überdacht und mit Glasfenster, nur teılweıse offen). Eın Spatz kam durch's offene Fenster und räumte dıe Krümel weg. Sammy hätte das auch erledıgt, aber er ıst ın Gautıng geblıeben, keıne Lust auf so langer Wanderungen. Spazıergang ums Goldene Horn, am Meer entlang. Hobbyfıscher bauten ihre umfangreıchen Utensilien auf, sie müssen mıt Mofas anreısen, um alles ankarren zu können. Im Areal des Topkapi gıbt es eınen schönen Park, in den es mıch dann verschlug. Ich verfolgte (dıskret) eın Brautpaar, seit gestern Mann und Frau aber wegen der Fotos nochmal Brautpaar. SIE war schon etwas lädıert, eın bodenlanger weısser Rock mıt Schleppe ıst nıcht vereınbar mıt eınem Parkspazıergang - und es ıst ıhnen vıel zu spät eıngefallen, den Rock etwas zu heben... Immer wıeder befahl dıe Fotografın eınen Halt... read more
der Park
Blaue Moschee

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet May 10th 2014

Von heute gibt's nicht viel zu erzählen - wieder früh aufgestanden, 40 km an die türkische Grenze gerast. Damit diesmal keine Probleme mit dem Van sind, hat jeder 2 Motorradreifen aufgeschnallt bekommen. Die Grenzformalitäten schlichen so vor sich hin, Unterhaltung ergab sich durch lauthalse Streitereien, weil plötzlich eine zweite Reihe eröffnet wurde, und die Leute in unserer Reihe ewig warten mussten, weil wir so kompliziert waren. Gdleich hinter der Grenze wurden die Reifen wieder in den Van geschmissen, außerdem begann es zu regnen. Und dann goß es. 40 km vor Istanbul begann der Stau, die einfahrt kam mir so vor wie eine Fahrt durch ein Aquarium voller Verrückter. Aber insgesamt war es sehr spassig. Und alle kamen an. Das hotel liegt unterhalb der Sultan Ahmed Mosche, fast direkt am Meer. Zimmer recht putzig, aber halt klein. ... read more
Hagia Sofia
Sultan Achmed Moschee
Vorspeise Group Meal




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