Istanbul Part 1

So my blogging effort has taken a serious hit over the last few months…or maybe more like year! But in my defence(to myself)life has been a tad chaotic, starting a new job and moving house four times! Now that I am securely on the property ladder(more about that in another post perhaps) and no longer have to deal with the turbulent life of London renting I have time to sit down and write again!
I’m going to start my efforts on a trip I took in May last year to Istanbul. Despite Turkey’s less than favourable press over the last year don’t let it put you off as this is a place that deserves your attention.
Of course as tourists we were always at risk of getting scammed out of a few Lira (beware of Taxi drivers saying you only gave them a 5, rather than 50!) but on the whole as a group of 6 girls and one lovely gentleman we felt at ease more or less the whole trip.
 
We stayed in an Airbnb next to the Galata Tower in Karaköy  which proved a perfect base on the European side to reach everywhere we needed.
On day one we walked over the Bosphorus to the Sultanahmet district.

 

Bosphorus Bridge, Istanbul, Turkey
Bosphorus Bridge, Istanbul, Turkey
Bosphorus Bridge, Istanbul, Turkey
Bosphorus Bridge, Istanbul, Turkey
Bosphorus Bridge, Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey
 
Our first stop was The Grand Bazaar. It is definitely worth a stop especially if you are a good haggler as everything was more expensive than I expected! I think they can see a tourist a mile away unfortunately!

 

The Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey
The Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey
Worth noting – the Bazaar is closed on Sundays.
Next stop the Blue Mosque

 

Blue Mosque, Sultanahmet, Istanbul, TurkeyBlue Mosque, Sultanahmet, Istanbul, TurkeyBlue Mosque, Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey

 

Blue Mosque, Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey

 

Tourists at the Blue Mosque, Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey
People spotting

 

Blue Mosque, Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey

 

Blue Mosque, Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey
Friend spotting

 

Blue Mosque, Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey

 

Blue Mosque, Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey

 

Blue Mosque, Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey
The only one of us to suit this

When you walk out of Blue Mosque you walk straight out into the Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
Tulips at the Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

 

Garens at Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

 

Tulips at Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
After a long day of wandering it was definitely time for a rooftop cocktail at sunset…

 

As always way too many photos for my own good, so I will have another few posts if you are interested in some travel inspiration.

I will recommend a few of the places we ate next time, but to end this post just a few random pieces of advice to be aware of!

1) Beware of Taxis scamming you! Everything we read before our visit advised to make sure they were on the meter, but that’s easier said than done. If they claim the fare is exactly 50 Lira be wary. The 50 and 5 Lira note are the same colour so they may try and swap it saying you only gave a 5! This happened to us twice and unfortunately we only cottoned on the second time!

2) On a better note it’s useful to know that they provide you headscarves at the Blue Mosque and also one for your legs if need be, so don’t worry about being dressed inappropriately.

Until next time x

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