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In transit from Marmaris to Florida, I stopped off in Istanbul for a memorable day of sight seeing.

I had an evening flight from Dalaman to Istanbul so, rather than fly straight out the next morning I elected to stay a day and explore.

I stayed at the Side (pronounce 'Siddy') hotel which was extremely reasonable at €35 per night including a turkish breakfast. The hotel is situated near the Blue Mosque within easy walking distance of all the sights.

One could spend weeks exploring Istanbul, but in one day of brisk walking I saw The Aya Sofia, The Blue Mosque, The Cistern, The Grand Bazaar and I even had a turkish bath. I did this because the sign said it was one of 1000 things you must do before you die. There was nothing weird or kinky about it if you don't mind a burly, moustached Turk in a tablecloth apron throwing you around on a slab of marble and scrubbing you (almost all over) with a rough mitten.


Howard [ Just Imagine ] 15-Dec-2007

Hagia Sophia (Excursion)


A Christian Church constucted in 537 AD and converted to a mosque in the 13 century and later deconsecrated as a museum by Ataturk in 1935, is certainly a sight to be seen.

The name, Hagia Sophia means "Holy Wisdom". There is an amazing collection of mosaic murals within the hagia.

Please add a photo of this most magnificent building. I don't know what happened to the one I took.

The dome has a diameter of 31 meters (102 feet) and is 56 meters high.
Howard [ Just Imagine ] 12-Dec-2006


The Blue Mosque (Excursion)


Built between 1609 and 1616 by order of the Sultan Ahmed I.
Howard [ Just Imagine ] 23-Feb-2007

Topkapi Palace (Excursion)


The palace was closed on the day of my visit.
Howard [ Just Imagine ] 23-Feb-2007

The Grand Bazaar (Excursion)


Miles of covered and underground streets selling anything you can think of.

It is interesting how the shops are grouped in categories. For instance one street or alley will have dozens of shops selling nothing but buttons.

Many good copies of brand named clothing and products can be found at negotiable prices.
Howard [ Just Imagine ] 23-Feb-2007


The Cistern (Excursion)



Medusa's head used as base (Click to enlarge) Photo:Howard Just {edit}

Howard [ Just Imagine ] 25-Mar-2007
An amazing underground water cistern built in the 6th century by the Greeks, measuring 143 x 65 meters with 336 ancient, recycled, marble columbs 9 metres high. As the foundation base of two of these columbs they have re-used blocks from an ancient temple with the head of Medusa.(see photo below)

As seen in James Bond, From Rusia with Love.
Howard [ Just Imagine ] 23-Feb-2007


The Side Hotel (Hotel)


Nothing fancy, but a good, family run hotel in the center of Sultanahmet within easy walking distance of all major sights in the area. I paid 35 which included a Turkish breakfast.

It is pronounced "Siddy"


I would certainly recommend staying here for the convenience and price.
Howard [ Just Imagine ] 12-Dec-2006

Hagia Sophia (Excursion)



Blue Mosque (Excursion)