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Travel Blogs from Istanbul
... them. It was pouring. And we thought Bath was wet. This was torrential. Still just a light top as it was also warm. First stop was being coerced into a rug shop by the most beautiful Turkey man. An enormous back room, no less. Huge modern showroom. Nothing creepy about it. And his assistants throwing out rug after rug after rug. Sweet green tea and no sale later, he sheltered under our umbrellas to get back to his spot to catch the next tourists. We had ...
On Sunday we had a relaxed morning and didn't leave the hostel until early lunchtime. Our destination was the area of Beyoglu, the heart of modern Istanbul. We had spent 95% of our time until then in Sultanahmet, the historic area, so we wanted to see what the modern centre was like. Taksim Square, in the centre, is on a large hill, so we took the funicular railway up there from the tram station. We'd just taken the tram across Galata Bridge from Sultanahmet.
... of this impressive waterway. The boat had a cafe on board and a waiter bearing a tray containing cold drinks as well as my favourite hot tea served the Turkish way in an elegant glass on a saucer did the rounds every 20 minutes or so. They also had a commentary over speakers which pointed out and explained a few facts about various sights as we passed them.
The most impressive sights for me were the two suspension bridges that crossed the straits. They were ...
... the West- very cool.
After that the palace went downhill a bit. We entered a room that was full of people.. but not much to see really. Still to this day can't tell you what we lined up for half an hour to see? But then a redeeming thing happened- we saw a guy actually reading from the Koran. That was incredible to see- it was like he was singing or chanting but actually he was just reading.
Sadly then the girls needed to go to ...
... front area which was filled with kittens and cool restaurants. Unfortunately, we took the wrong ferry and ended up in the opposite area that we wanted to go. But at this point, we were used to getting lost and we sorted it out pretty quickly. We also visited Karakoy on the Asian side, where we found a very cool market/ restaurant community with tiny streets covered in awnings which revealed shops and tea houses. The vibe over on this side was more authentic and ...