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 Off to Turkey

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Rodus
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 1:54 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I going on holiday for a week to Istanbul on Monday and was wondering if anyone here had been, what to see there and how to avoid getting into any sort of trouble.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:53 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Have fun, don't eat from those stands in the street, bargain everything down till it suits you (it can take days to get the item you want for the price you want to pay) Remember that it will have to go on a plane back home Wink
If female, adjust clothing a bit, they will appreciate it.
Take pictures of the cabs, you wont see those oldies running elsewhere.
Stay away from all drugs and drug related things.
Best thing I did there, have a haircut and a shave at a smaller shop (I donít care what I look like Laughing ) It came with a facial and a neck massage, best spend hour at a barbers yet.
Have more fun

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Craig007
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:00 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Enjoy yourself and bring back piccies Very Happy

I've never been to Turkey before, but I've heard that you shouldn't drink the green tea given to you by shopkeepers. Also, I'm lead to believe the toilets aren't something to desire for Razz

EDIT: i' before 'e' except after 'c'

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Standard Procedure
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:18 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Check out the Turkish baths while you're there!

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Dionysius
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 5:57 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

If a lotto lad ever gives me my prize money I'd seriously think of buying a summer house in Istanbul.

It depends on what you're into. Tons of world class museums - Ottoman Palaces (Topkapi Palace, Dolambahce Palace), Archaeological Museums (featuring the Alexander Sarcophagus, tiled bricks from the Ishtar Gate of Babylon showing animals), covered markets (Grand Bazaar, the Spice Market) churches & mosques (Haghia Sofia - a real MUST, Blue Mosque, Suleimaniye, Mosque of Rustem Pasha, the Chora Church near the land walls) and the Byzantine Defences on the land and sea. That is just to mention a few.

For the fuller list get your hands on a guidebook, any decent bookshop should have plenty of guides to Istanbul. The food is very good. But avoid the ice cream as it can cause really bad stomach problems.

Watch out for salesmen they will latch on to you like limpets. Yes, some of the toilets are pretty bad. The Turkish baths are supposedly excellent the oldest date from around 1500, Cemberlitas between Aksaray and Sultanahmed are very old.

Any specific questions give me a PM.

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TheGreatOok
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 6:20 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Have fun Rodus and bring back pictures so we can all enjoy.

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Stoker Thompson
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 6:32 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

We were way south of there in Bodrum. Very beautiful. If you get a chance you should go to the southern coast.
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3strikes_out
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 7:17 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Istanbul was one of the best places I have visited. Dionysius summed it up nicely. Visit all the places mentioned.

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Rodus
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:43 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks guys, I'm really looking forward to it. I'll take lots of photos but may take a few days to post them as I don't have a digital camera Embarassed

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u can keep sending money to Gomer and leave me alone - Agent Smith cracks up

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remmy223
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 9:30 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

never pay the asking price for any goods.
you will need to take alot of time out to buy things as you will need
to haggle.haggle and yes haggle for the price.start off well below half and see how it goes.
also there is an awfull amount of counterfeit goods ranging from watches,t shirts and even tobacco products,take extreme care in your purchases.

otherwise have a great break and enjoy the hot weather.

Wink

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bill2
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 9:40 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
as I don't have a digital camera
Nothing to be ashamed off, worked out well with your girlfriends pictures, just that nasty sign Rolling Eyes Laughing Wink Embarassed

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Yastreb
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 11:52 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Little more that I can add about Istanbul - there's so much to see.

Speaking from my trip in 2000:

Pushy street vendors can be a pest.

There are restrictions on photography. Watch out for any signs reading DIKKAT! These often mark areas your can't snap - especially military posts.

If you're a military buff (I was on a tour of Gallipoli) the Military Museum is a must.

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GordonBennett
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 1:26 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
Istanbul was one of the best places I have visited. Dionysius summed it up nicely


I'll second that (or third it) although I was there for a week in 1983, so it might have changed a wee bit.

Go to a local's Turkish bath, not the tourist ones and cross the Galatta bridge (the old one from Europe to Asia) via the pedestrian walkway below the road part of the bridge - shops and a good lean out over the waters (millions of jellyfish!). Also good hookah pipe shops if you fancy a puff (tobacco, that is - they bring out the water pipe with your coffee and you puff away. The tobacco is kept lit by an ember of coal(?) placed on top of a plug of baccy).

Try the local sweet desserts - baclava and one which looks like shredded wheat in honey. Yum.

Plenty of Roman remains/working stuff (like underground reservoirs - in one of the Bond films, I think) and the twee-est little railway station near the sea.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 2:49 am Reply with quoteBack to top

All good advice. I'd also add that if you want to buy a souvenir then go for one or two really authentic pieces of local craftsmanship (rug, copperware, leather goods etc) which of course you should haggle over instead of a suitcase full of cheapo tourist crap. Personally I see little point in travelling to exotic places in order to stock up on fake Rolexes and pirate DVDs. I can get those from a bloke I know in Queen Vic Market down the road.

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mathias
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 6:17 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I have lived in Turkey for almost three years (still own an apartment in Antalya) and I can second what was said before.

One last note: laws on drugs are very stiff. Some joints can bring you into real trouble Wink

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Dionysius
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 8:57 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Galata Bridge was replaced in the 90's. The old one was hit by fire. Around the European Side of the Bridge there are fishing boats selling freshly caught and cooked fish sandwiches. I'd recommend giving those a try. The Golden Horn is much cleaner now than it was in the past. So don't worry about the pollution quite so much.

As regards sweets, Turkish Delight is very good - but try some first because your tastes are different to everyone else's. The Underground Reservoir is not that far from the Aya Sofya or Haghia Sofia. On the main road from the Aya Sofia and Sultanahmet down to the Golden Horn, if you follow the tram line down the hill it will be on the left hand side.

Other things include the Mosaic Museum near the Arasta Bazaar (mosaics from the Byzantine Palace of the Emperors) next to the Blue Mosque, the foundations of the Hippodrome with a cafe. Sit down to rest your feet and admire the construction skills of the Byzantines. The Hippodrome itself - next to the Blue Mosque - was the political centre of the Byzantine Empire and the Ottoman Empire. In that political disturbances and riots that toppled emperors and sultans took place there. Look at the three columns in the middle of the square. One is an obelisk of Thutmosis III (if I remember correctly), the short bronze column is the Victory Momument built in Delphi when the Greeks defeated the Persian Empire in 480 - 479BC. At the base of the obelisk is a carving of the court of an early Byzantine Emperor.

If you want to swap places with me, I can take your holiday for you.

EDITED TO ADD: Also on the Hippodrome is the Palace of one of Suleiman the Magnificent's Pashas and his greatest Vizier. Roxelana hated him and persuaded Suleiman that this Vizier was a threat so Suleiman ordered his execution. Excellent for seeing how the rich Ottomans lived. If you want to see the tombs of Suleiman and Roxelana go to the Suleimaniye Mosque next door to Istanbul University, halfway between Aksaray and Sultanahmed.

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DementedAngel
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 10:39 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I've never been, but if I were to go I'd want to try to track down a private dervish ceremony (from my understanding are illegal, but tolerated) that I could be allowed to observe.

From what i've read, such observation can be done, but would take a local to help you find one and get you in the door of the tekke.

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