Istanbul

Istanbul Travel Blog

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The way to Istanbul.

Four hours and a half was the time between me and Istanbul, butterflies in my stomach I boarded the Turkish airlines flight from Dammam heading to Istanbul. I was so excited I felt that the flight took forever to reach there.

Istanbul at last! Getting through immigration was simple, took a taxi to my hotel insisting to sit in the front seat not to miss anything on the way to the hotel in this beautiful January weather.

After checking in the hotel, I threw my bags in the room and started a 3 hour walk checking the area surrounding the hotel, bought an Avea SIM card with a 2 Giga internet connection " You have to show your passport to get one ".

I went back to the hotel and had an early dinner getting ready for an early start the next morning.

Obelisk of Theodosius.

Even though I slept early, I woke up late! I think I was exhausted and decided that this day is a free day, wanted to explore old Istanbul which is in the area of the hotel.

I went to Sultanahmet Square, it was a beautiful cloudy day with a probability of rain after sunset. Started walking in that beautiful area and taking pictures. Obelisk of Theodosius, Walled Obelisk, Serpent column and the Million stone were beautiful and interesting, went after that to the Blue mosque, what a beautiful and amazing structure! I think I took more than an hour just staring at it.

My photographical instinct, which I truly lacked, kicked in and I stood in a funny way thinking this is a professional stand to take a picture of the mosque! while adjusting the angle a dog sniffed my butt and had me jumping over three meters, actually it did more than sniffing, his nose was all the way in! I didn't jump three meters for nothing , I don’t know if my butt reminded him of a butt he knew before! or simply he couldn’t resist the opportunity … people laughed and I quickly slipped away from that place heading to Haghia Sophia and keeping away from dogs till I reached there.

Professional Photography stand " From the internet ".

After a full day of walking I headed for an early dinner in Old ottoman Café & Restaurant, returned back to the hotel and getting ready for an early start the next day.

Woke up early to a beautiful day, it drizzled throughout the night till the next day and still. Took a shower and headed down to an excellent breakfast buffet, then went out fully energized to explore Istanbul ... less than 50 meters from the hotel a car splashed water on my face and I think it tasted better than the tap water in the hotel!

I returned back to the hotel and changed my shirt and headed back to Topkapi Palace avoiding every car and dog on the street till I reached there ... to get inside Topkapi palace and museum you need to buy a 30 Turkish lira ticket and another 15 lira ticket if you want to enter Harem Apartments, I was the only one buying tickets and I think I came very early.

Haghia Sophia.
I went inside and rented an audio guide for 20 Turkish lira which I think was excellent since you can rewind the information over and over again. I began at the Harem which was absolutely beautiful, it had the private rooms of sultan Ahmet the first, sultan Ahmet the 3rd, sultan Murad the 3rd and so many beautifully decorated rooms. Later I discovered that I went the wrong way and actually began from the end! The museum also had Treasure room and Islamic Relics, fantastic place for art and history lovers. At the middle of the tour the place got a little bit crowded, finished my tour around 2 pm and headed out to find long queues for buying tickets outside the palace “ always better to come early “ .

Went for a late dinner in Amedros Café & Restaurant which was excellent then went back to the hotel after a long walking day.

Long queues for buying tickets outside Topkapi palace.

The next day I went to Grand Bazaar, Very crowded and full of life. Started walking and admiring the beautiful place I’m in. after a while I realized that I’m totally lost in this magnificent place, lost in its beauty and lost and didn’t know where to go. I found a café and took a Turkish coffee and some sweets and enjoyed the ambience, went in some of the shops exploring and found some good things to buy.

It took me a while till I figured the way out because I wanted to go out from the same place I came in, completed the day just walking in Divan Yolu Cad Street and Sultanahmet Square and then back to the hotel. I spent the other few days I had in Istanbul in these same places and had the pleasure of talking and knowing some locals there.

On Friday, I had the pleasure of attending the Friday prayer in the Suleymaniye Mosque, it was so beautiful and crowded I barely breathed.

Grand Bazaar.
On the same day I said goodbye to Istanbul and headed back to the Airport insisting to sit in the front seat of the taxi, again!

I will for sure come back to Istanbul. I loved everything there! people, history, food, diversity and even dogs!

Meshal says:
I'll try to keep an eye on them next time :)
Posted on: Jan 01, 2016
Besandri says:
You just have to watch those stray dogs :)
Posted on: Jan 01, 2016
cotton_foam says:
what a great experience! I liked Istanbul too! I gave a nickname: "Istanbul: The Afterglow City!"
Posted on: Sep 12, 2015
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The way to Istanbul.
The way to Istanbul.
Obelisk of Theodosius.
Obelisk of Theodosius.
Professional Photography stand  F…
Professional Photography stand " …
Haghia Sophia.
Haghia Sophia.
Long queues for buying tickets out…
Long queues for buying tickets ou…
Grand Bazaar.
Grand Bazaar.
Sultanahmet Square.
Sultanahmet Square.
Sultanahmet Square.
Sultanahmet Square.
Divan Yolu Cad Street.
Divan Yolu Cad Street.
Haghia Sophia.
Haghia Sophia.
Sultanahmet Square.
Sultanahmet Square.
Sultanahmet Square.
Sultanahmet Square.
Sultanahmet Square.
Sultanahmet Square.
Blue Mosque.
Blue Mosque.
Blue Mosque.
Blue Mosque.
Haghia Sophia.
Haghia Sophia.
Blue Mosque.
Blue Mosque.
Blue Mosque.
Blue Mosque.
Blue Mosque.
Blue Mosque.
The Fountain of Ahmed III.
The Fountain of Ahmed III.
Haghia Sophia.
Haghia Sophia.
Haghia Sophia.
Haghia Sophia.
The Fountain of Ahmed III.
The Fountain of Ahmed III.
A cat escaping the cold weather!
A cat escaping the cold weather!
Serpent column, Roman Hippodrome.
Serpent column, Roman Hippodrome.
Serpent column, Roman Hippodrome.
Serpent column, Roman Hippodrome.
Obelisk of Theodosius.
Obelisk of Theodosius.
Walled Obelisk.
Walled Obelisk.
Walled Obelisk.
Walled Obelisk.
Ibrahim Pasha Palace.
Ibrahim Pasha Palace.
Million stone.
Million stone.
Million stone, The distance betwee…
Million stone, The distance betwe…
Million stone.
Million stone.
Million stone, The distance betwee…
Million stone, The distance betwe…
Million stone, The distance betwee…
Million stone, The distance betwe…
Million stone, The distance betwee…
Million stone, The distance betwe…
Million stone, The distance betwee…
Million stone, The distance betwe…
Sultanahmet Square.
Sultanahmet Square.
Sultanahmet Square.
Sultanahmet Square.
Sultanahmet Square.
Sultanahmet Square.
Haghia Sophia.
Haghia Sophia.
Blue Mosque.
Blue Mosque.
Blue Mosque.
Blue Mosque.
Blue Mosque.
Blue Mosque.
Blue Mosque.
Blue Mosque.
Gate for Topkapi Palace.
Gate for Topkapi Palace.
Inside Topkapi Palace.
Inside Topkapi Palace.
Inside Topkapi Palace.
Inside Topkapi Palace.
Inside Topkapi Palace.
Inside Topkapi Palace.
Inside Topkapi Palace.
Inside Topkapi Palace.
Inside Topkapi Palace.
Inside Topkapi Palace.
Inside Topkapi Palace.
Inside Topkapi Palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Map for Topkapi palace.
Map for Topkapi palace.
Just outside Topkapi palace.
Just outside Topkapi palace.
Just outside Topkapi palace.
Just outside Topkapi palace.
Just outside Topkapi palace.
Just outside Topkapi palace.
Making traditional Turkish bread.
Making traditional Turkish bread.
Blue Mosque, Sultanahmet Square.
Blue Mosque, Sultanahmet Square.
Sultanahmet Square.
Sultanahmet Square.
Haghia Sophia, Sultanahmet Square.
Haghia Sophia, Sultanahmet Square.
Tickets to Topkapi Palace museum a…
Tickets to Topkapi Palace museum …
Harem Apartments.
Harem Apartments.
Harem Apartments.
Harem Apartments.
Harem Apartments.
Harem Apartments.
Harem Apartments.
Harem Apartments.
Harem Apartments.
Harem Apartments.
Harem Apartments.
Harem Apartments.
Harem Apartments.
Harem Apartments.
Harem Apartments.
Harem Apartments.
Harem Apartments.
Harem Apartments.
Harem Apartments.
Harem Apartments.
Harem Apartments.
Harem Apartments.
Harem Apartments.
Harem Apartments.
Harem Apartments.
Harem Apartments.
Harem Apartments.
Harem Apartments.
Harem Apartments.
Harem Apartments.
Harem Apartments.
Harem Apartments.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
The view from Topkapi palace.
The view from Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
View from Topkapi palace.
View from Topkapi palace.
View from Topkapi palace.
View from Topkapi palace.
View from Topkapi palace.
View from Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
The gate to Topkapi palace.
The gate to Topkapi palace.
Long queues for Topkapi palace tic…
Long queues for Topkapi palace ti…
Long queues for Topkapi palace tic…
Long queues for Topkapi palace ti…
Long queues for Topkapi palace tic…
Long queues for Topkapi palace ti…
Topkapi palace.
Topkapi palace.
Grand Bazaar.
Grand Bazaar.
Suleymaniye Mosque after Friday pr…
Suleymaniye Mosque after Friday p…
Suleymaniye Mosque after Friday pr…
Suleymaniye Mosque after Friday p…
Istanbul
photo by: Memo