Blogs from Istanbul, Marmara, Turkey, Middle East


Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul June 27th 2022

An action-packed few days in Istanbul. Given that we had been here before (twice for me) and I thought the girls might tire of mosques and palaces, I looked into a few unique experiences to kick off the holiday. Yesterday morning started with an impressive breakfast overlooking the port (cause you can never really get away from the wonder of freight) before a stroll through Sultanahmet and a Turkish coffee to shake off the call to prayer early morning wake up. Just next to Topkapi palace, we visited an art shop where the owner (who had a degree in Fine Arts) showed us the art of paper marbling or Ebru. She explained to us the materials and techniques involved - some stuff to make the water more jelly-like and ox bile to make the pigments more ... read more
Blue Mosque
Aya Sofia
Love me, pat me, give me attention…oh, ok then…

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet June 25th 2022

Travelling in the post pandemic world is full of stress and uncertainty- cancellations, staff shortages, queues. It is, then, a miracle to behold that two travelling parties, their origins on two separate continents can agree to meet on a third continent and arrive within 30 people in the passport queue. Particularly when one of those parties can answer with genuine ignorance when he’s asked upon boarding his flight from Tanzania what his onward travelling arrangements from Turkey are. So, we have arrived in Istanbul, pleasantly stress-free compared to the last trip, but not lacking in vomit. After settling in to our apartment and admiring the view, we had a wander around Sultanahmet, refuelled the tanks, rekindled our love for Efes and enjoyed some warmth. A Turkish feast in a beautiful garden before the whinging about fatigue ... read more
First of many Turkish feasts
Beautiful garden restaurant
22 hours of this…

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul June 5th 2022

Here we are, back on the road! Imagine, we are not yet at the half mark of 2022...and suddenly Covid is feeling so far away. I have to admit, my friends left in China do have a very different view about the issue...being on hard lockdown in Shanghai for 76 days while the world is enjoying a new freedom to travel is not what you are awaiting for as an expat. I guess for them too freedom will come...rather soon than later! First stop, a little food and shopping one in Istanbul. Tanya has seen the city...and I've been here few times, but it's a first together. Friday night flight on Turkish Airways from Joburg was fully booked. I may be gold level with them, funny enough, it's my first long-haul with them. Clearly better than ... read more
Riding the Bosphorus...
Cat having a nap after exchange his hard earn money!!!
Beautiful Istanbul...

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul January 9th 2022

Our 90-day visa for staying in Turkey was almost up so it was time to leave. When looking at the schedules for flying back, we knew with the covid regulations constantly changing we would fly back on Turkish Airlines as didn’t know how much would change between the time of booking the flight and actually flying. There were 2 reasons for this – 1) on the international flight each passenger is allowed 2 checked pieces of luggage, each up to 23 kilos (50 lbs. each bag) and 2) more importantly this year, they have a direct flight from Istanbul to JFK so no need to deal with any other countries covid regulations while transiting through. The increased baggage limit is important to us when we go to the boat as we are always taking boat parts ... read more
Left Tsamaya in Marmaris (near the arrow)
Prayer Rooms, Subway and Waiting for Airplane
Driving into Istanbul from Airport

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul July 20th 2021

Enjoyed my first tour with Salih. Fener was historically the most important Greek quarter of the city, just a short walk up from the Golden Horn. It flourished after the capture of Constantinople by the Ottomans when the Sultan encouraged the Orthodox people to settle there, and it became a prosperous and prosperous district. From the 18th century until the end of the Ottoman Empire, it was to decline and almost fall into ruin in the mid-1950s as a result of the programme that drove the Greek people out, forcing them to leave Istanbul. We saw the imposing Greek Orthodox High School in red bricks. Nowadays, it is one of the most charming neighborhoods in Istanbul, It is experiencing a new lease of life since the 2000s with the Unesco plan that has allowed the restoration ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul June 11th 2021

First off, yes, the dates on the title of this blog post are correct. We spent 4 wonderful days in Istanbul as a stop over on our way back to the US when leaving Tsamaya in the water in Fethiye, Turkey. Our plan was to spend the winter in the US and return to Tsamaya in the spring of 2020. As everyone knows plans changed with the spread of Covid. As a result, we have been in the US since the end of October 2019 and as of June 2021 are still here. I did have the best of intentions and it was always in the back of my mind that I really should sit down and pull together a blog post on our time in Istanbul and then provide updates throughout our time back in ... read more
Stunning Arches in the Bazaar
Yes, The Bazaar Has Everything You'd Want
The Spice Bazaar Is All That You Can Imagine & More

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul May 27th 2021

We are back on a plane tomorrow morning, so I thought it's maybe time to log my last blog. Here I am for 3 days and 2 nights in Istanbul. You cannot go direct between South Africa and Turkey, but you need to stop in a "safer" country for minimum 10 days or risking a 14 days quarantine upon arrival in a government facility at your own cost. Well....Egypt did the deal for over ten days and I was not even asked about my prior traveling movement upon the last 10 days. I can confirm too that Turkish Airlines (even as a Gold member), is better to avoid right now! Been flying with Qatar lately...great lounge, great decent duty-free in Doha...and Emirates has not resumed to fly to South Africa since 16th January...and it could ... read more
Around Taksim...
At least the restaurant at the hotel is open, with a view on the Bosphorus...
Cat are sleeping everywhere in Istanbul...

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 January 4th 2020

Gestern habe ich wieder gut gefrühstückt und bekam auf Anfrage sogar einen Late Check Out um 13:00. So habe ich noch ein paar Dinge in World of Warcraft erledigt. Nach der vereinbarten Uhrzeit habe ich dann meinen Trolley im Hotel deponiert und bin zur Hagia Sophia. Auch dort musste ich nicht lange in der Schlange warten. Das war sehr angenehm. Diese ehemalige Kirche kann man dann als den letzten Höhepunkt meiner Reise betrachten. Das Archäologische Museum und die Gegend um den Taksim Platz mit der Einkaufsstraße und der alten Straßenbahn vertage ich auf das nächste Mal. Sie hat mich jetzt nicht allzu sehr interessiert und ist nicht so einfach zu erreichen. Nach der Hagia Sophia bin ich dann noch in ein modernes Starbucks-ähnliches Café. Die Kette selber habe ich in Sultanahmet nicht gesehen. Dort habe ich ... read more
Die Hagia Sophia.
Die Hagia Sophia.
Die Hagia Sophia.

Tot: 0.093s; Tpl: 0.013s; cc: 12; qc: 49; dbt: 0.0175s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.5mb