Blogs from Marmara, Turkey, Middle East


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 » Canakkale February 12th 2020

10 Feb 2020 Istanbul - last day Just an easy day wandering around the city before we head off tomorrow for Çanakkle. Erol, one of the owners of our accommodation, gave me a beautiful bunch of flowers this morning. That is two gifts of flowers in 4 weeks. I AM flower worthy!!!! Knackers was super excited about the exchange rate at the Grand Bazaar this morning! We took a wander to who knows where after that. We were supposed to be heading for the Spice market. Its amazing where you end up with shortcut Shane at the helm, and often we see some really intersting things. After ending up outside Laleli mosque, a looooong way from the Spice market, we came across some ancient ruins and roman columns dating back to, well, who knows when. I ... read more
Sűleymaniye mosque
Sűleymaniye mosque

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.

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul January 3rd 2020

Gestern habe ich wieder gut gefrühstückt und mir dann mehrere Punkte vorgenommen, die auch realisiert habe. Zuerst bin ich zum Großen Basar. danach zur Suleymaniye Moschee, vor dort zum Gewürzmarkt und danach habe ich an einer Fahrt am Bosporus entlang teilgenommen. Nach all dem bin ich wieder zu meinem Stammrestaurant und habe dort zu Abend gegessen. Anschließend bin ich zum Hotel und habe dort dies und das gemacht. Ich freue mich aber immer mehr, dass ich bald wieder in der Heimat bin. Auch mein neues Auto soll bald übergabebereit sein.... read more
Der Große Basar.
Die Suleymaniye Moschee.
Fahrt am Bosporus entlang.

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul January 2nd 2020

Gestern habe ich im Dachrestaurant des Hotels gefrühstückt, von dem man eine schöne Aussicht hat. Dann bin ich mit dem Taxi nach Bursa hinein gefahren und zwar zum Muradiye Komplex, wo sich einige Gräber osmanischer Sultane befinden. Von da bin ich mit einem anderen Taxi weiter zu den Märkten und bin dort etwas herum spaziert. Als ich damit fertig war, habe ich nochmals ein Taxi genommen. Diesmal zurück zum Otogar. Hier habe ich einen Kaffee getrunken und auf den Bus gewartet. Als dieser zur angegebenen Zeit nicht an der genannten Stelle war, bin ich schon etwas nervös geworden, aber zum Glück kam er kurz darauf und ich konnte nach Istanbul fahren. Auf dem Weg sind wir über die neue Brücke über einen Teil des Mamarameers, dann an der Formel 1 Strecke Istanbul Park vorbei und zuletzt ... read more
Auf den Märkten von Bursa.
Der Muradiye Komplex mit den Sultansgräbern.
Der Muradiye Komplex mit den Sultansgräbern.

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