Istiklal Cad. the 24/7 street
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In the First week of my trip, I stayed in a hotel in Taksim square, actualy it happened that the day I arrived was the final of Turkish soccer league championship, and Besiktas ( one of the most famous Turkish soccer teams) won the Championship, that night I guess no one slept in Taksim, even in Istanbul, or could be in whole Turkey.. people were celebrating the victory until early moring.. the celebration continues for a few more days, day and night, however, subdued compared to that night, obviously I had been forced to become a Besiktas fan that night.
I thought I am not a stranger to Turkey, since I made many visits to Istanbul & other parts before, I assumed that Istiklal Cad.
In Istiklal Cad. one can find all type of returants, cafe's and pubs.. also a famous fish market and resturants are there.. I recommend to NOT MISS eating dinner there once in your trip. at the end of Istiklal Cad. Galata tower , where a panoramic view up there of Bosphorus and surrounding area.
the remaining days, I moved to a service appartment, commonly, I prefer to stay in a falt than a hotel for long period travels, so one can enjoy a spacious space relative to hotel rooms, also typically they are equipped with home appliances that one may need
Bosphorus & other sightseeing
Generaly I enjoy all kind of water, oceans, seas, rivers, however, Bosphorus view is somthing can remain in the memory for long long time, I had two tours in there, one in the moring and another at night, both are magnificent, and very much recommended.
I completed my visit to the major three, TopKapi palace, Blue Mosque and Aya Sophia, in 2 days. It was my first time for TopKapi, but not the last one for sure, some sections were closed this time, I hope to find them open by next visit.
I set one full day for Dolmabahci palace along with Ortakoy, this amazing palace was used generation after generation until now, I have been told that just recently Obama reception has been held in the Grand Ceremony Hall in the palace. unfortunately no cameras were allowed inside to take some shots.
Ortakoy is the place where one can take bosphorus tour, meanwhile, many returants, pubs and Cafe' are there, it has its own lovely atmosphere. nearby are the most famous, and prestigous night clubs in Istanbul, Reına and Sortıe, each has its own boats ready to pick customers from either sides of Bosphorus, as an extra service .
Turkish people are so friendly , however, if it happens that one turn his back to you while you are talking to him, or show some nervousness this is because he couldn't understand your language to help you, not because he doesn,t want to help, nevertheless, he will do his best by asking others, so he can eventually help you.
I managed to hook up in a day trip to Bursa, the green Bursa, we took the bus from istanbul to city on the asian side, called PENDIK as far as I remember, from there, we had the ferry( boat) to Yalova then the bus to Bursa.. both sides on our way from Yalova to bursa are green, Bursa is famous of their Olives and manufactures..we visited the green mosque, the grand mosque, and the 600 years tree. unfortunately, the telefrık was down for renovation. for lunch we had the famous Iskander Kebap.
I was so lucky, as the 37 music festival in Istanbul brought many famous bands and activities into the city during my stay.
I enjoyed every minute there, and end up with wealth of Turkish songs, where the most I do like is " Istanbul Istanbul for SEZEN AKSU"