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Published: October 16th 2014
ISTANBUL 16 October 2016
Now back in Istanbul, two months later than my visit after the Silk Road ride. The weather is changing, now much cooler than July, but still pleasant exploring temperature.
The flights were long, and the flight from Dubai to Istanbul on a 777 was cramped and full. Did not think Emirates Economy was any better than any other airline recently experienced! The A380 from Brisbane to Dubai, 14.5 hours was marginally better.
Set out this morning, first visiting the Arista Bazaar. Rent from the stalls support the running of the adjacent Blue Mosque. The shops here sell a better quality product and Mem and I saw many items that appealed! Continued to wander the back streets which were interesting and exotic. Reappeared opposite the Grand Bazaar so continued our wanderings through gold and carpet stalls, stopping to enjoy a strong coffee and pistachio baclava. Delicious. Departed the Bazaar through a back entrance and continued wandering through street markets before coming upon the Spice Bazaar. Another enthralling covered market selling spices, sweets, and sparkling jewellery. We exited the market at Eminou, on the waters edge. Ate a tasty giant pretzel before embarking on
a Bosphorus cruise. 90 minutes marvelling at the fore shores of Asia and Europe. Very easy to enjoy Istanbul!
Our hotel is at Sultanahmet, near to the historic sights of old Constantinople. The Aya Sophia, Blue Mosque, The Cisterns and the Topaki Palace are all within a five minute walk. Our room opens on to a balcony offering a full on view of the Aya Sophia. The Muezzin's call to prayer starts at 6am and continues four other times throughout the day. A very evocative sound. I wonder if I will tire of it by the time of our departure.
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