04
Jan2014
0

Istanbul, we were fascinated to learn, is both part of European and Asian continents. The city spans across the Bosphorus strait which separates the 2 continents. How cool! During the time of the Ottoman Empire, dozens of palaces were built by Sultans and other richy poos all along the waterway banks. Our friends recommended we go on a cruise to see them and since the weather was so nice, we did. Looking back on the city, I loved all the […]

02
Jan2014
0

Topkapi Palace was the home of the Ottoman Sultans between 1465 and 1830 – just under 400 years. The Ottoman Empire was a powerful one – at its peak  it spanned from Hungary in the north to Somalia in the south, and from Algeria in the west to Iran in the east. The palace at its largest was home to as many as 4,000 people and contained mosques, a hospital, bakeries, and a mint. As well as a royal residence, the palace was a setting for state occasions and royal entertainments. […]

28
Dec2013
0

Underneath Istanbul are hundreds of cisterns – ancient Byzantine water stores. The largest one in the city has been drained so visitors can wander through an underground forest of columns. It’s a stunning sight to see. This cistern was built in the 6th century in the Byzantine era. This cathedral-size cistern is an underground chamber approximately 138 metres by 64 metres – impressive!  The ceiling is supported by a forest of 336 marble columns, each 9 metres high, arranged in 12 rows of 28 […]

27
Dec2013
0

One of the highlights of any visit to Istanbul are the markets – the Grand Bazaar, the Spice Bazaar, the Arasta Bazaar and more. They’re busy and colourful and full of goodies! Firstly, the Grand Bazaar with jewellery, lamps, rugs and more! Despite the grandness of the Grand Bazaar, we actually only bought stuff from the Spice Bazaar and the Arasta Bazaar. The latter is much more affordable and a good selection of stores. All the shopping, even for turkish delights, […]

24
Dec2013
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Before we get onto our next Istanbul adventure – MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone. I hope you’re all having a wonderful time with friends and family. Rob and I are hosting a group of friends who are away from home for Christmas at our house in Cambridge. Should be a good day! But enough of that – back to Istanbul when we visited back in September. Directly opposite the Blue Mosque was the even larger Aya Sofya – a building that used […]

23
Dec2013
0

We managed to leave Oktoberfest at 8pm because we knew we had an early flight to Istanbul the next day. We planned 4 days of chilling out and wandering around exploring this fascinating city. Within an hour of being in the city, I was hooked. Why was that? We arrived just in time for evening prayers – a clear voice sings the prayers on loud speakers outside the mosques all over the city. It was beautiful and soothing. It set […]