Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Istanbul the Historic city.
After five days in Dubai our vacation continued to Istanbul. We reached Istanbul at around 6pm local time and was greeted with a beautiful sunset. We took the airport shuttle to our hotel and it proved to be quite expensive. We later found out that the actual price for our hotel transfer from the airport was only half the amount we paid.
Our hotel was located in Sirkeci which is about 100 meters from Topkapi Palace and 200 meters from Spice Bazaar. On the first day in Istanbul, we took the Bosphorus tour. This tour starts after breakfast, when we were picked up from the hotel by our tour guide Emut. We were taken on a short city tour and then proceeded to the mouth of the Golden Horn, to explore the bustling Egyptian Spice Market of 17th century origin - a colorful bazaar heaped with spices, Turkish sweets, dried foods and much more. Then we headed to Camlica Hills the highest point in the vicinity of Istanbul, 267 meters above sea level. It has a small teahouse in the midst of the pine grove which gives the peak its name. From here, there is an absolutely magnificent view, which makes it well worth visiting here. One has a panoramic sight of the whole city, the Bosphorus almost as far as the Black Sea, the Marmara Sea with the Princes Islands, and behind that, the great snow covered ridge of Uludag, the Bithynian Olympus. We took the opputunity to take many pictures here.
Then finally we headed to Eminonou to take our ferry for the Bosphorus tour.
We discoverd a wealth of impressive sights all along the shores in the Bosphorus ferry trip along Istanbul's famous waterway dividing Europe and Asia. The trip along this sea is about 1 1/2 hours during which we had the chance to relax and admire the shoreline of beautiful mosques, lavish palaces and decadent villas. we also got to see Dolmabahce and Beylerbeyi Palaces, Ottoman summer mansions and Ortakoy mosque, the defensive Rumeli Fortress and Bosphorus Bridge - one of the world's largest suspension bridges, all alongside passing fishing boats, yachts, huge cargo ships and tankers.Hubby mentioned that this could be one of the most busiest waterway in the world. On the way back to Eminonu it was already beginning to get dark. The temperature suddenly dropped. Thankfully I was prepared for I brought extra socks and gloves and shawls for everyone. The pictures here are of Camlica Hills, Bosphorus trip and the Spice Bazaar.