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


Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet February 9th 2020

07 Feb 2020 Istanbul As often happens, our easy, unplanned days often turn in to some of the busiest. After walking through the long, winding park at the back of the Topkapi Palace, we found ourselves by the banks of the Bosphorous Strait, overlooking the Asia side of Turkey. Those of you watching the new series, Ottoman, will know exactly where that is, and what it means to Turkey. We walked over the Galata bridge, which crosses the Golden Horn. Shane has had quite alot to say about the Golden Horn over the last few days. I have been ignoring him!Finally....I found someone selling Gozleme! Apparently it is only a summer food here so my dream of consuming most of my calories eating the stuff will die here also. Shane is making up for it eating ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet February 6th 2020

04 Feb 20 Marrakesh -Istanbul It is with some sadness that we leave Hamid and Aissa behind in Marrakesh today and head to our next destination, Istanbul. Well, true, I might have been a little more than sad. When Knackers says to me, "You ok? You're a bit emotional", I can't even look at him and my eyes begin leaking again! This could possibly go on for a few more days! We're staying at Cube Suites in an Aparthotel for the next 7 nights. Its great to be able to get up when you want in the morning and make your own breakfast without feeling that you have to race down to the breakfast room before it closes or all the good food has all but disappeared. 05 Feb 2020 Istanbul Breakfast at a little restaurant ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet April 26th 2019

Hotel Hilton Garden Inn Umraniye - 6nopti =55euro pe noapte camera dubla, queen family room, imensa, spatioasa, curata si hotel apartinand unui lant si care se afla intr-un centru comercial-mall. Situat un pic mai departe de centru si de punctele turistice pe care le-am vazut intens cu ocazia altor vizite-palatul Topkapi, moscheile, muzeul de arheologie, bazarurile totusi nici de aceasta data nu ne-a tinut deoparte de alte descoperiri si aici in partea asiatica Umraniye. Clima a fost superba, practic am fost acolo in intampinarea verii impreuna cu pescarusii. Asa am descoperit cel mai mare acvariu din Europa- Acqua Florya, acvariu situat si el intr-un mall-Florya. Iar elementul de rezistenta l-a constituit jocul pinguinilor din bazinele imense. Am prins sezonul florilor in gradinile palatului Topkapi. A fost un concediu de Paste placut combinat cu plimbarile feribotului, colindatul ... read more
interior camera
promenada la final de aprilie
Istanbul in amurg

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet January 28th 2019

What a city to take pictures — especially on the water, on the routes of the ferries that constantly shuttle between 2 continents that the city straddles. Check out this amalgamation of videos taken during our visit There’s a lot to like about Istanbul. As the capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires (and even the Roman Empire just before its collapse), it has an amazing history. As a commercial and political center and the largest city on earth for a very long time — it attracted many ethnic groups, all of whom left their marks. Modern day Istanbul is a major city in Turkey with a population of 15.5 million residents including at least 1 million displaced Syrians. Its Old City reflects cultural influences of the many empires that once ruled here. In the Sultanahmet ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet September 4th 2018

Turkey, December 2012 - January 2013 Day 1 We have arrived, probably yesterday evening? I’m writing this based on my handwritten notes in 2018, five years later so… The first full day goes by wandering around Old Town, hoods of Sultan Ahmed mosque or Blue Mosque as it’s also known as. This area is quite touristy but necessary to appreciate the heritage and history. We end up visiting Blue Mosque twice because the visiting hours are unknown to us. Suppose checking timetables prior to visiting wouldn’t be such a bad idea. It is closed for prayers in between as it is still functioning as a mosque and not just as a tourist attraction. It has continued serving as a mosque from the beginning of 17th century. Details and the building itself is fascinating. Hagia Sofia is ... read more
pamukkale limestone 2
pamukkale guard

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet May 18th 2018

Arriving back from Egypt meant a trip to the cinema with the Movie group we have all been waiting for the release of Infinity Wars which in my opinion was brilliant. A few days later we went out for after work drinks, I don’t do it often because it is expense here, I left early because I am going kayaking in the morning. I left early the next morning picking Chris, Rina and Arthur up as we made our way to Abu Dhabi’s Mangroves National Park. Today we would Kayak about seven kilometres through the mangrove canals and it is damn hot for early May. I love kayaking and the others seemed to enjoy paddling through the park as much as I did, a bit more wildlife would have been good though. A few days later ... read more
City wall
City wall

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet June 6th 2016

Today is the first day of Ramadan, when observant Muslims don't eat or drink anything between sunrise and sunset. I found out that this rule doesn't apply to the local stray dogs when I encountered a few on top of the old city walls and one of them gave me a nip on the ankle. This led to an interesting involvement with the Turkish health service. The first hospital I went to doesn't give rabies shots. You may also find this surprising, given that the city is full of stray dogs and cats. They sent me to another hospital where I joined the locals in pressing myself forward for service, despite their attempt to assign numbers to each patient. I eventually got a jab and went to a pharmacy for two kinds of antibiotics. My system ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet June 4th 2016

I think that Istanbul has as good a claim to be an Eternal City as Rome has - perhaps even better, since Istanbul has been an important city continuously since Constantine chose it has the capital of the Roman Empire in the 4th century, thus driving Rome into decline for centuries. One really visible sign of this continuity is Aya Sofya, the huge Byzantine church built in the 6th century which was preserved virtually intact over the ages because when Moslems captured the city they converted it to a mosque. No building in Rome from that time survives (with one exception) because they were all used as stone quarries by mediaeval peasants. (The exception is the Pantheon which survived because it was made of non-reusable concrete!) I walked around the old core of the city quite ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet April 30th 2016

Saturday: Sadly we were kept up by a baby crying until 12:30 AM. Sleep was fitful so John got up and went for a sunrise walk down to the ferry terminal at Eminonu. He saw the first cruise ship we have sighted. Our host at the hotel tells us that the norm is two or three ships a day but many of the big cruise lines have cancelled Istanbul as a port-of-call altogether! Shocking. After a warming breakfast and conversation with the hotel’s owner, Mehmet, we rested before meeting friends Aggie and Roger and going to the famous Chora Church with its unsurpassed mosaics. We ogled them for an hour or more, running into Carol, Steve and Connie from the Asian Art Museum. The five of them are on their way tomorrow to Iran for a ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet April 29th 2016

Friday: Our next door neighbor at the hotel had a small child who cried when they returned from dinner at 11:00 PM, so we did not sleep too well. Up for a great breakfast on the rooftop and a long conversation with the owner of the hotel. A very intelligent and quick individual who understands the economy and has done well in a HUGE downturn due to terror fears amongst tourist nations. He noted that he dropped his prices (we benefited tremendously) while other hotels kept their summer season price structure. The result is 80% occupancy for this hotel and 20% for many others, with a norm of around 80-90% in other years. Very sad. We saw the results of the downturn in tourism everywhere, with no lines at the Aya Sofia or crowds at the ... read more

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