Turkey Ke Sare kare COVID-19 Ke Pehle

AR Ardent Rambler

Well-Known Member
Final Day: Drive to Istanbul; Hagia Sophia; Bosphorus Cruise; Spice Market; Taksim Square; Back to Istanbul Airport
Today it was 5:30 hours, 6:00 hours and 6:30 hours. We had to take 7:00 hours ferry from Çanakkale to Eceabat. It was cold, windy and pitch dark morning with overcast sky. From there on it was a long drive of over four hours to Istanbul.

It was a cold morning in Canukkule
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Another ferry boat besides ours
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Our ferry boat with our group members warming themselves in the cabin
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B & W avatar; Close to Eceabat side
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Ferry ride with bus on the right
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First light of the day
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Two Trees and the Sun
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Love the light reflecting on golden grass
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Overcast sky while driving to Istanbul; probably raining over hill top
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Clouds threatening to burst over the village
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Love to retire in this small cottage
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The countryside landscape is calm and beautiful
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Some resemblance to Ladakh!
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This country is self sufficient in agriculture products
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Wind mill technology very much in Turkey
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Ladakh like Landscape
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The Machine and the Cloud
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Calm countryside
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Small settlement along seaside
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Ferry ride on a cold, pitch dark morning
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Leaving the Çanakkale seaside
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Our bus coach with our competent driver; we had the same driver for our entire road trip.
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Good morning Folks!
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Sun playing peekaboo boo with the clouds
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Love the orange, yellow and red hues of sunrise
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Another small town under the spell of rising sun
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Calm countryside under the spell of rising sun
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Love this capture of calm countryside in early morning
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Lov the light reflecting on flower bed
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“Sailing take me away”
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The Calm Sea
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The Sun, Tree and the Clouds
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Drive along coastline
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The Sun and Trees
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Another small town being threatened by fiery sky
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Sun breaking away from clouds
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Sun trying to break through the stubborn clouds
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Another small town
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Beautiful hues of sun rise on overcast sky
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AR Ardent Rambler

Well-Known Member
Hagia Sophia
By noon we were in Constantinople, AKA Istanbul. Today we had the best lunch (Jumping Chicken) of our entire trip. After lunch we proceeded to Hagia Sophia.
Hagia Sophia means Holy Wisdom is a great architectural beauty. It is probably the most important and the largest non-steel domed monument. In its 1,400 year life-span it has served as a cathedral, mosque and now a museum. It is a perfect synthesis where one can observe both Ottoman and Byzantium effects under one great dome and reflect the culture of Turkey.

First set of pictures

Column capital
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Ceiling of corridor before entering the main museum
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Ceiling of corridor before entering the main museum
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Ceiling of corridor before entering the main museum
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Ceiling of corridor before entering the main museum
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Corridor before entering the main museum
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West side of the upper gallery
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Corridor of Hagia Sophia Museum
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Exterior of the Hagia Sophia with its Minaret
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Exterior of the Hagia Sophia with its Minaret (from the exit view)
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Walk towards Hagia Sophia. It often utilizied a large dome set on a square base instead of a vaulted roof.
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Exterior of Hagia Sophia; Bricks of different colors were frequently used on the outside of the structure and arranged so that they appeared as bands or in complex patterns.
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Multicolored marble was used on the walls, floors and columns.
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Above the altar were hung rich silk banners The mihrab located in the apse where the altar used to stand, pointing towards Mecca (center of the base)
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The interior of the building was richly adorned with four acres of gold mosaics on the ceiling.
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The windows at the bottom of the dome are closely spaced, visually asserting that the base of the dome is insubstantial and hardly touching the building itself.
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A golden dome suspended from Heaven
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I somehow love this capture. Impressive interior with slabs of colored marble, golden blocked and arched windows
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Innovation work on the left side to the frame
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Its interior is decorated with mosaics and marble pillars and coverings of great artistic value.
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Dome has 40 windows which let in the light.
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The crown of the dome rises about 55 meters above the floor.
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Impressive interior made of marble with colored glass mosaics.
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Visitors are awed by this Wonder of the World
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Yours Truly! Courtesy my children!
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Hagia Sophia is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture
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The building was constructed between 532 and 537 on the orders of the Byzantine emperor as the third Church of the Holy Wisdom to occupy the site.
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The structure has brick and mortar joints that are 1.5 times the width of the bricks. One of the minarets was added after the church was converted to a mosque.
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One of the minarets was added added after the church was converted to a mosque.
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The Hagia Sophia is of masonry construction.
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Clouds threatening to pour anytime over Hagia Sophia
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Exterior domed structure of Hagia Sophia
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B & W avatar of this Wonder of the World
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Beautiful mosaic of the Virgin with Constantine and Justinian. It shows Mary seated on a throne holding the infant Jesus and flanked by two of the greatest emperors of the city.
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The interior of one of the half domes showing the image of the Virgin Mary. Beautiful mosaic of the Virgin with Constantine and Justinian. It shows Mary seated on a throne holding the infant Jesus and flanked by two of the greatest emperors of the city.
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The interior of one of the half domes showing the image of the Virgin Mary. Beautiful mosaic of the Virgin with Constantine and Justinian. It shows Mary seated on a throne holding the infant Jesus and flanked by two of the greatest emperors of the city.
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The interior of one of the half domes showing the image of the Virgin Mary.
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Description of the Dome by CE patriarch of Constantinople named Photios "It is as if one were stepping into heaven itself with no one standing in the way at any point; one is illuminated and struck by the various beauties that shine forth like stars all around. Then everything else seems to be in ecstasy and the church itself seems to whirl around."
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The interior of one of the half domes showing the image of the Virgin Mary. Beautiful mosaic of the Virgin with Constantine and Justinian. It shows Mary seated on a throne holding the infant Jesus and flanked by two of the greatest emperors of the city.
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The mihrab located in the apse (lower right portion of capture) where the altar used to stand, pointing towards Mecca
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Impressive ceiling of Hagia Sophia
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AR Ardent Rambler

Well-Known Member
Second set of pictures of Sophia Hagia:

Impressive golden mosaic work on the ceiling
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Impressive golden mosaic work on the ceiling
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The dome is the main protagonist of the building structure and the effect achieved.
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"...the huge spherical dome [makes] the structure exceptionally beautiful. Yet it seems not to rest upon solid masonry, but to cover the space with its golden dome suspended from Heaven." (from "The Buildings" by Procopius, Loeb Classical Library, 1940, online at the University of Chicago Penelope project)
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This enormous dome is 31,24 meters sits 55.6 meters above your head. It was once covered with 30 million gold mosaic tiles and is currently decorated with Koranic inscriptions. Perplexed since this vast dome seems rendered weightless by the unbroken arcade of 40 arched windows under it. Restoration work on the left lower corner of the frame.
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The dome is the main protagonist of the building structure and the effect achieved.
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The Church became a mosque for 500 years
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A multitude of Islamic features were added to the building (both interior and posterior)
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The windows at the bottom of the dome are closely spaced, visually asserting that the base of the dome is insubstantial and hardly touching the building itself. The building planners did more than squeeze the windows together, they also lined the jambs or sides of the windows with gold mosaic. As light hits the gold it bounces around the openings and eats away at the structure and makes room for the imagination to see a floating dome.
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AR Ardent Rambler

Well-Known Member
Bosphorus Cruise
The Bosphorus Strait is the heart of Istanbul. The cruise, ‘Must Do Activity’ provides best views of city’s most beautiful attractions along the strait including the bridges. Summers would be ideal for the Bosphorus Cruise. But here we are in the wrong time of year and wrong weather, cold, damp and rain!

Galata bridge and Blue Mosque on the left and right of the frame respectively
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Blue Mosque on the left of the frame
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Galata Bridge; the first bridge over the Golden Horn
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Galata Bridge was a symbolic link between the traditional city of Istanbul proper (Muslims) and and the districts of Galata, Beyoglu, Sisli and Harbiye (Non-muslims)
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Water under the bridge!
Many a good man has been put under the bridge by a woman. Charles Bukowski
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Blue Mosque in the center of horizon from Bophorus strait
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Views from the rear of shelter of our boat, Hasan Dede1
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Views from the rear of shelter of our boat, Hasan Dede1
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Views from the rear of shelter of our boat, Hasan Dede1
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Many a man curses the rain that falls upon his head, and knows not that it brings abundance to drive away the hunger. Saint Basil
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Raindrops are my only reminder that clouds have a heartbeat. That I have one, too. Tahereh Mafi
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Build a bridge by extending your hand. Ken Poirot
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Feriye Palace
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Ziya Kalkavan Maritime Vocational High School
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Ziya Kalkavan Maritime Vocational High School
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Ziya Kalkavan Maritime Vocational High School
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Ziya Kalkavan Maritime Vocational High School
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Bosphorus Bridge AKA 15 July Martyrs Bridge
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Bosphorus Bridge AKA First Bridge connecting the Asian and European side of Istanbul
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First bridge is one of the three suspension bridges across the Bophorus strait
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A window covered with raindrops interests me more than a photograph of a famous person. Saul Leiter
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Throw open your window and let the scenery of clouds and sky enter your room! Yosa Buson
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My favorite journey is looking out the window. Edward Gorey
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From the same window, you keep seeing the same view! Mehmet Murat ildan
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Our Boat, Hasan Dede1
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Our Boat, Hasan Dede1
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Our Boat, Hasan Dede1
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Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet. Bob Marley
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Seagulls and Bophorus Strait
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The Galata Tower is the center of the frame
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The Romanesque style tower was built as Christea Turris (Tower of Christ) in 1348 during an expansion of the Genoese colony in Constantinople
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The Galata Tower is medieval tower in the neighborhood of Constantinople, Istanbul
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Imposing Blue Mosque in the skyline of Constantinople from Bophorus strait
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Imposing Blue Mosque in the skyline of Constantinople from Bophorus strait
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A flock of Seagulls
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Seagulls and Bophorus strait
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Seagulls and Bophorus strait
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You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty. Mahatma Gandhi
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AR Ardent Rambler

Well-Known Member
Second set of pictures from Bosphorus Cruise:

Blue Mosque from Bosphorus strait
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Blue Mosque in the center of frame from Bosphorus strait
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Captain of our boat, Hasan Dede1
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I see pictures all the time. I could stay for hours and watch a raindrop. Alfred Einsenstaedt
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You have the nicest window, you know? None of the others can even compete. It's not flashy like the others, or bleary—your window gives off this nice, quiet light. Banana Yoshimoto
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“I want your sun to reach my raindrops so your heat can raise my soul upward like a cloud.“ Rumi
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Every human being is a raindrop. And when enough of the raindrops become clear and coherent they then become the power of the storm. John Trudell
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Dolmabahce Palace
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Feriye Palace
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Feriye Palace
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Ziya Kalkavan Maritime Vocational High School
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Ziya Kalkavan Maritime Vocational High School
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Ziya Kalkavan Maritime Vocational High School
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Our group enjoying the views of Bophorus strait from warm cabin of our boat, Hasan Dede1
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What is he pondering?
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Maiden's Tower
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AR Ardent Rambler

Well-Known Member
Spice Market:
After we finished our Bophorus cruise we headed to Spice Market. It was very crowded. We had limited time. We did shop for souvenirs. AKA Misir Carsisi, is one of the most famous and oldest covered bazaar in Constantinople. It has wide range of colorful shops selling and displaying spices and Turkish sweets, AKA Turkish delight.

Walking towards our coach bus
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Spice Market, covered bazaar brimming with visitors
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People from all walks of life shopping in colorf
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it is worth a visit to this vibrant market of spices and sweets. Khaitan & Meetha!
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B & W capture of open part of Bazaar
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Colorful display of spices
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Nice display of Turkish Delights! Turkish are too sweet for my palate!
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Rain and cold our companions for the trip
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It was an escape from the damp and cold rain of Constantinople
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AR Ardent Rambler

Well-Known Member
Taksim Square:
We moved to our final destination. Taksim square is considered the heart of modern Istanbul? It is located in Europe’s side. The square has been an important venue for political protests during much of its existence.

Even Istanbul has Christmas decorations
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Visitors strolling on a cold damp winter evening in Constantinople
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Santa Claus did come to Istanbul
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The Republic Monument (1928)
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Taksim square popular place for shopping and restaurants
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Taksim under the spell of Christmas lights brimming with visitors.
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The Republic Monument on this cold wet winter evening
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AR Ardent Rambler

Well-Known Member
This will be the last update for this travelogue. Overall we were satisfied by the services provided by fixed departure tour. The hotel accommodation provided was in accordance with price of the tour package with clean rooms and bath. The food was hygienic and mediocre. Most of highlights were covered in the short span of time of six days.

What were the Highlights of our trip?
1. Tourist attractions were less crowded during this time of the year.
2. Hotel accommodation was as promised.
3. Transport was spot on time.
4. All the tourist attractions were covered as per program (which was sufficient); by our self we would lucky if we had even done half of it! Ancient City of Ephesus was the probably the highlight of our trip.
5. Local citrus fruits especially oranges are yummy.

What were the Misses of our trip?
1. The damp weather was a bit of letdown.
2. There was no overnight stay in Istanbul.
3. Not much local food was served during the trip.
4. Long distance travel by land; tiring and fatigue; our bus coach could have been more comfortable with more leg space.
5. We wished Cave hotel accommodation in Cappadocia. Also we missed the Air Balloon ride in Cappadocia.

Our Recommendations for persons planning to visit Turkey (After COVID-19 ends; don't know when it ends?):
1. Spend more time in Istanbul with overnight stay in Istanbul.
2. Can reduce travel time by taking a domestic flight.
3. Take your favorite salad dressing along as most of the meals serve salad (local salad dressing not yummy?)

For now, Physical Distancing; Stay Safe, Stay Home and Stay Healthy to keep COVID-19 away.
So long! Hasta La Vista!
 
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