JB visit to Istanbul

Istanbul Travel Blog

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Front entrance to new Four Seasons Hotel Bosphorus in Istanbul

I wake next morning and really get a sense of the city when I hear the 'call to prayer' from one of the Mosques nearby. Before my meeting I am taken around the city by a wonderful guide who explains the incredible history associated with Istanbul going beyond the Ottoman empire back to Roman times. We go into the famous 'Blue Mosque' and I am surprised that I do not have to cover my head. Then onto the Bazaar which is a 'rat run' of streets and shops. The atmosphere is great and if you decide you want to buy be prepared to bargain!

So to my carpet saga! The guide knows one of the carpet sellers and I am curious and decide I want to 'look'. We go to a shop off the main drag, in a building, in a lift to the 3rd floor where there is a room with hundreds of carpets.

Borak my friend on concierge
Then I am asked what I am looking for - at that point I realise that 'looking' here does not have the same meaning as when you are 'looking' in John Lewis in Oxford Street. 'Looking' means you want to buy a carpet the only quesiton is how big and how much! I enjoy the friendly banter and actually am inspired to own my own turkish carpet. I bargain down to less than 50% of the original starting price and even get a small rug thrown in for my cat (My cat is called Friday as he turned up on my doorstep in the arms of my Mum on Friday before Christmas, lost and abandoned - he now lives with me)

I throw my carpet into the back of the car and head to the new Four Seasons Hotel on the Bosphorus (the real reason I came to Istanbul) I am quietly pleased that our new hotel will not open until July 1st this year as it gives me a reason to come back to Istanbul sooner rather than later and spend more time in this vibrant city.

Concierge tip - I ask Borak on concierge what you can do in Istanbul that you can't do anywhere else in the world he advises to hire a private boat for dinner, 2 hour cruise on the straights of the Bosphorus with Europe on one side and Asia on the other - cost around 500 euros.

JB tip - bring some comfortable walking shoes so you can really get the most out of this city.

janie22 says:
Hi from Dallas

You are right about the Euro/dollar .... need to keep that in mind for future blogging!!

It is good to be back in America. Never been to Texas before and the poeple are very down to earth.

Going to New York on my way back to London.

Take care Jane
Posted on: Mar 17, 2008
mr_shanet says:
so nice of you to think about friday :) that was a nice touch to add in the cats origin and name :) added some "home" realness to a travel journal!
$500 does not sound so bad until i think, wait thats euros and the dollar is going down down down :) funny to say, but not good reality for us US travelers! great journal, have fun on your next trip back, sounds like a descent job! :)
Posted on: Mar 14, 2008
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Front entrance to new Four Seasons…
Front entrance to new Four Season…
Borak my friend on concierge
Borak my friend on concierge
Friday my cat
'Friday' my cat
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Istanbul
photo by: Memo