Istanbul - where the moonlight on the Bosphorus is irresistible
Istanbul - where the moonlight on the Bosphorus is irresistible

Istanbul - where the moonlight on the Bosphorus is irresistible

Istanbul is often confused with the capital of Turkey. While it is no capital it is everything else. A large city with a great number of historic marvels, palais, mosches churches and other historc attrctions. The historc orient style grand bazaar is a marketplace with 4000 shops and the you can have some maritime experiaon taking a ride on the river river Bosphorus. This great metropolis with a population of over 14 million is the melting pot of diffin cultures and Istanbul is the olny city of the world that stresses over two continets: Europe and Asia.

Work, Work, Work

But this is not why I am here. I am actually an engineer on a business trip to help solve some of our customer with it's urgent problems. So, no relaxiation and side seeing but hard work. I know the customer was near the airport so I got a hotel near the airport. Due to some confusion about the airport's naming however I got the hotel far away from the customer. This way I get to learn some diffrent aspects of Istanbul: Its notorieusly jammed road in the metropilos with only 4 briges over the Bosphorus and it can be very expensive. The trip to the hotel and back takes me one and a half hours and around 180 USD. Anyway with was alot of fun to work with the skilled and motivaed enineeres from our Istanbul location and the customer. And Turkey has great food which we enjoy during lunchtime in a near restaurant. It is a great blend of European influance, like potatos, and oriental style meat a vegtables. Ayran is the delious milk based drink. We managed to get the weekends off grap our cameras and too the metro line downtown.

The great Hagia Sofia

First we go to one of the most famous sites, the Hagia Sophia. At the entrance my bag gets X-rayed by security. The security guard tells me that Tripods are not allowed inside. But - I carry a Monopod - that is ok. Managing the obstacles we get inside. The Hagia Sophia was built in the fourth century by Constantine the Great, which was the first Christian emperor and the founder of this city called then Constantinople. I was really stunned by the beauty of the the Byzantine architecture style mosaics, marble pillars and coverings mixed with Christian and Islamic display elements. The Hagia Sophia remained a functioning church until May 29, 1453, when Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror entered triumphantly into the city of Constantinople. He was amazed at the beauty of the Hagia Sophia and immediately converted it into his imperial mosque. After continues dispute between Chistians and Muslims, in 1934, the Turkish president Kemal Atatürk turned the Hagia Sofia into the Ayasofya Museum.

The Blue Mosque

The cascading domes and six minarets of the Blue Mosque dominate the skyline of Istanbul. It is said that Sultan directed his architect to make gold (altin) minarets, which was misunderstood as six (alti) minarets. The six minarets caused quite a scandal, as the Haram Mosque in Mecca (the holiest in the world) also had six minarets. In the end, the sultan solved the problem by sending his architect to Mecca to add a seventh minaret. Mosques are Muslim places of worship and prayer, and Istanbul is the only places where non Muslims are granted entry to glimpse a view.

The Grand Bazaar

The historic orient style Grand Bazaar is the world's biggest historic Bazaar. It is one of the most famous spots of Istanbul resembles a labyrinth of around 4000 shops along dark aisles. Grand Bazaar was constructed in 1461 at the order of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror. There are luxurious shops selling Jewelry and clothes, spice, carpet. They are grouped in streets according to the trade. Not so exclusive sales goods, like meet or iron work and so on, sit along dark aisles in innumerable little dark shops. Men welding in there shop in the with little to no light.

The Bosphorus

No Istanbul experience is complete without a cruise up the Bosphorus. On the bridges a large number of men are fishing while there are many cruise ships on the river. You can start with a traditional Istanbul ferryboat. I choose to do the Bosphorus cruise with the public ferry.

Night view over Istanbul at the Galata Tower

As the sun set approaches we decided to look for a good location to take some sun set pictures. Well after sunset we walked up to the Galata Tower. It is a medieval stone observation tower which gives you a excellent view over the city. Quite amazing to see all the light after dark and you really realize that you are in an Islamic country when spotting all the enlighted Mosques. We went for dinner to a restaurant.

Greetings from Istanbul, Turkey
Andreas

Ferien in Teneriffa
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Practical Information

Currency:
New Turkish Lira (TRY), 1 EUR ~ 2,40 TRY (2012). As of 1st of January 2005, six zeroes have been deleted from the currency of Turkey and YTL (New Turkish Lira) became the new currency unit.
Time zone:
EET (UTC+2), Summer Daylight Saving Time (EEST) between last Sunday in March and the last Sunday in October (UTC+3)
Airport:
Istanbul Airport Ataturk was formerly known as Yesilkoy International Airport and is the main International airport in Istanbul, Turkey. It lies 24 km south west of Istanbul’s city center. There is a Metro line down town and very 30 min an Airport Shuttle Service. A Taxi to downtown costs around20 EUR.
Entry requirements:
Ordinary passport holders are required to have visa to enter Turkey. Most can obtain this touris visa stamp, which is up to 90 days valid, at the point of Entry for around 10 EUR. Some residents of European states do not require a a visa while others need to get the visda prior to the trip to Turkey.
Taxis:
The starting rate is TL 2 during the daytime, TL 3 during the from midnight to 6 a.m.. For each kilometer, TL 1.3 is added to the cab fare during the daytime, TL 1.95 at night. If the taxi stands still for more than three minutes, a waiting fee of TL 0,25 per minute will be added.

Food

If you just think about Kebab when it comes to Turkish food you will be very excited to hear that Turkish cuisine has a lot more to offer. And Turkey has great food which we enjoy during lunchtime in a near restaurant. It is a great blend of European influence, like potatoes, and oriental style meat a vegetables. Ayran is the delicious milk based drink

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