What a culture shock to arrive in Istanbul after the Ukraine. Suddenly there is commerce everywhere, merchants screaming for attention in all languages and the spicy smell of the east is in the air…
I have found a very nice hostel in the Sultanahmet area, Istanbul Hostel. Very nice big beds, friendly personnel, a bar downstairs… very nice indeed.
Day 1 – Sultan Ahmed Area
The most touristy area where all main attractions are located, and next door to my hostel. I visited the Aya Sofia, the Blue Mosque, the Basilica Cistern, the Hippodrome and spent a few hours in the Bazar. Plenty to see, plenty of impressions.
I happened to run into Jonathan in the street somewhere, we had some traditional Turkish tea and exchanged our travel experiences. Nice to see him again.
I also had a kebab here, and I must say it’s nowhere near as good as the kebab back home at Leeman’s.
Day 2 – Topkapi Palace
The traditional palace of the sultans, including the harem. Today, the whole area is a cluster of museums dedicated to different aspects of the history of Istanbul, lots of interesting bits there and some beautiful treasures.
I almost got ripped off by some weird turk, but no harm done, he ended up paying for my kofte 😀
Day 3 – Museum of Archeology, Asian side of Istanbul and leaving for Bucharest
I really enjoyed my visit to the archaeological museum, I spend most the the morning and the beginning of the afternoon wandering through the different exhibitions. Aside from the usual Greek and Roman bits and pieces they had some very interesting expositions on the excavations in Troy and in the old harbours of Istanbul.
I felt my visit would not be complete without taking a ferry to cross the Bosporus, so thats what I did this afternoon. A nice excursion, even the ferry itself makes it worthwhile.