My trip to Istanbul forever remains edged in my mind because i dont think i have ever experienced such flight turbulence ever. Its really not the best way to start a trip because you get so engrossed in dreading the journey back; but well you cant really fight nature, so its just best to let that go because the journey anyway is all worth it.
Istanbul is a city that has a blend of ancient and modern culture. The architecture has ancient themes with modern finishings whose designs can be traced back to the Ottoman Empire. The Emperors had a wild taste for luxury which even to an extent rendered them bankrupt. Some of these buildings include the Hagia Sofia, Blue Mosque, Obelisk Of Theodosius to name a few.
There is also the beauty that is Dolmabahce Palace which is where the Emperors lived luxuriously. Visit inside the palace is only through a guided tour as there is just one entrance and one exit. Taking photos inside is not allowed. As you exit the main entrance you get to see the famous clock tower erected right outside the palace.
As you tour the rest of the city, you get to see some other very beautiful buildings. Metros can be used for transport but be ware that English-being the universal language-is not so common here, so its best to use public means if you only know where you are going. Alternatively you can make bookings with the tour companies whose packages consist of English speaking tour guides.
Turkey as a country is located between two continents; Europe & Asia which are connected by the Bhosphorus bridge, a famous landmark here. You can drive between the two continents or use the cable car which is much faster to cross over to either side. They told us the restaurants and hotels are much cheaper on the Asian side. 1USD is equivalent to 2.88 turkish lira so its somehow an expensive city.
While on the Asian side, you get such amazing views of Turkey. We had also previously made a brief stop at the Prems Leather Shop which is famous for its production of very high sophisticated leather. Any purchase made at the shop is discounted so it would be great to take that advantage if looking for quality leather or leather products. All those high end designers get their leather from this shop.
When it comes to activities, you can take the day cruise along the Istanbul strait where you get to view the city from the sea. They have a tour guide that takes you through the history of the Ottoman Empire through the PA system. They also serve refreshments especially since it was the rainy season then.
A fun filled night cruise was scheduled where dinner was served. This though depends on the package that you choose from the tour company. It comes with entertainment on board from belly dancers, clowns, guitarist and violinist doing their thing.
Overall, it was a great trip; really enjoyed the food, the weather, turkish tea and the country in general. We however had a bad experience with our Tour guide but i have now forgiven the old man. I mean isnt that what we all have always been taught to do?!