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

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Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet January 3rd 2015

Woolly says – Pulling the curtains aside the weather seemed to be getting brighter, it still felt bitter so having added a further two layers to my current five I decided to brave the Siberian temperatures for the day. First stop breakfast at my favourite city hangout…… Alice’s. I’m beginning to think that he will be moving into the place at this rate, although it might cut down on the food bill! It was still to bitter to want to venture through the streets so having checked that it was open a taxi was commandeered as we set off for the Rahmi Koc Museum. Woolly says – Even though it was only a few short months since my last visit I was keeping my paws crossed that this time I would be able to board the ... read more
Enjoying the Delights of Alice's
U Boat
All at sea

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet January 1st 2015

Woolly says – it was a late start to the morning and by the time I had put on every piece of clothing I had bought with me breakfast was finished, having discussed the need for food and sustenance we decided to find somewhere on our way and set ourselves up for the day. Turkish breakfast and cay dealt with and the view outside leaving us all shuddering at the thought of what the conditions were going to give us I suggested one of Woolly’s favourite places from our previous visit to Istanbul, the Rahmi Koc Museum. Woolly says – she does have a good idea sometimes and taking the view that a lot of the exhibits were inside it was meet with eager head nodding from our fellow travellers, it’s just a shame she hadn’t ... read more
Widow's Cage!
Felicity's Gate
Enterane to the Audience Hall

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet January 1st 2015

It was a slow start to the first day of the year although to be fair it had taken until 4am to remove the mammoth from the party! The snow appeared to have stopped but the temperatures weren’t any warmer, so having bundled up well we set forth for another inside tourist attraction. Woolly says – I like to move it, move it…… it was a great night and with balloons and sparklers everyone seemed to have had fun. The music, dancing and food provided were brilliant and even my request of a few snacks to keep up my strength were meet with bowls of pistachios, showing that you can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant! While Jo was mustering the troops I stuck my trunk out of the window to access the conditions and ... read more
The Underground Cistern
Decorated Columns
First Medusa

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet December 30th 2014

Woolly says – being the type of mammoth to never ignore an opportunity when it presents itself the chance to spend New Year in Istanbul was an easy choice to make. Having chivvied Jo round, packed the travel bag, found the passports and booked the relevant flights and transfers I was ready. What my mammoth friend really means that having bossed me around for several days and got in the way of packing not to mention demanding that everything he owns was included we finally made it to the front door ready for the off. Woolly says – Hmmm, OK we’ll put aside the ‘who did what’ scenario and move swiftly forward to Jo locking the apartment door and leaving the keys inside part! Looking at her face I just handed over the tissues, prodded her ... read more
Can You tell how cold it it!
beautiful ceilings
Incredible Ceiling in the Blue Mosque

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet November 27th 2014

Blog Entry Two Before we get too far along I want to make it clear that Istanbul is fantastic ... great city ... super clean (more on that later) ... warm and welcoming people ... good food ... everything a traveler could want ... except ... of course ... sunshine. It has been raining and windy since my arrival, which is tremendously disappointing. I had dinner with some German friends who lamented that they were going to have to go home to Munich to warm up (for those who are a bit lax on their German geography, Munich is in the foothills of the Alps, and is not generally considered balmy). Speaking of geography, I am attaching a simple map of the Istanbul in hopes that my descriptions will make more sense ... there will, of ... read more
Streets of Sultanahmet
Sultanahmet In The Rain
Cobblestone Streets

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet November 27th 2014

Blog Entry Three So my hotel in Sultanahmet is right around the corner from the Hippodrome, a huge outdoor space that was used to host chariot races back in the day (much the Circus Maximus in Rome). But unlike the Circus Maximus (which remains a ruin), the Hippodrome has been restored into a public gathering space, anchored at one end by two ancient obelisks ... on Egyptian, one Ottoman. Adjacent to the Hippodrome is the Blue Mosque, the second largest mosque in the world. It is called the Blue Mosque because of the famous mosaics inside the mosque, which are made from largely blue ceramic tile. The mosque boasts six minarets (which are the cylindrical towers located outside mosques ... they are roughly analogous to Christian church steeples). When the Sultan commissioned the Blue Mosque in ... read more
Hippodrome
Obelisks
Obelisks At Night

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet November 24th 2014

All In the last entry for this blog you were given the wrong address for Jeff Femrite's blog for Istanbul. If you are interested it is www.travelblog.org/Bloggers/JJF-In-Istanbul-2014... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet November 24th 2014

Blog Entry One Welcome ... This will be a brief seven (7) day blog documenting my trip to Istanbul during the American Thanksgiving Holiday 2014. As always, I would love for this blog to be interactive, so please comment. That being said ... if you think you have a "turkey in Turkey" joke I have not heard ... trust me ... I have heard it. So the trip over was uneventful. I flew on a recently refurbished United 777 from Chicago to Frankfurt (which compared favorably with the Qatar Airlines 777 I was on about a month ago ... please see www.travelblog.org/Bloggers/Madison-Nepal-Group) and then on a 2.5 hour Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Istanbul. As you know ... I am not a guy who likes to stereotype an entire people ... but the Germans have always ... read more

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

One of the most striking monument throughout the centuries, Hagia Sophia, still is in must visit list of every traveler. Hagia Sophia constructed in 6th century. It served as an Orthodox cathedral until 1453 and remained greatest place of worship in Christendom for almost a thousand years. After the conquest of Istanbul, with order of Mehmed the Conqueror, it was converted into mosque four minarets were added that changed the silhouette of historic peninsula. Even there are many mosques around, Sultans preferred Hagia Sophia for friday prays for centuries. In 1935, young, new Turkish regime proclaimed Hagia Sophia as museum regarding to its historical, cultural and architectural importance. During its construction, many building materials were carried to Istanbul from ancient areas all over the Byzantine Empire, mai... read more
Hagia Sophia Hall
Hagia Sophia inside
Hagia Sophia mosaic1

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet October 25th 2014

After 5 day rest near Fethiye doing holiday stuff, set off north, approx 900km to Istanbul. Bike still suffering from broken shock, so Heather elected to fly, well it was raining! So with rain coming off Agean sea, I elected to run up the middle over mountains. Pamukkdale, top tourist site near Denizli was on route, stopped for lunch in cloudy sunshine, it was easy see this natural chalk feature from 20km. There is quite a bit to see here and swim in Cleopatra's bath tub, but just a brief visit this time as I was keen to outrun rain. Run into Istanbul round lake Maramara to north, or ferry across this small sea?, well indicission left me on mountain track in dark above Izmit, I blame the satnav - well it says there is a ... read more
Jester on Ovukirk boats.
Pancakes
Sunset cruise on Agean




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