"Turkish Delight" Istanbul by starship
Istanbul Travel Guide: 7,978 reviews and 20,864 photos
One of the ports I most anticipated during our Mediterranean Cruise was Istanbul!! In my mind, images of the Grand Bazaar, Topkapi Palace, the Underground Cisterns, the dome & minarets of the Blue Mosque, and the Hagia Sofia had become synonymous with beauty, history, and most assuredly, the exotic!
I felt fortunate to be sailing to Istanbul, rather than to be arriving by air. From the Aegean Sea we weaved through the Dardanelle Straits, and into the Sea of Marmara while unknowingly passing by the historic city of Çanakkale. The somewhat overcast skies were a little disappointing, but with the Golden Horn, or Haliç, coming into view, we were greeted by a fluttering Turkish flag with the great city of Istanbul in the short distance. We would have but a day and a half in Istanbul, and I knew that it would not be nearly enough time -- even a week might not be enough. But, my plans involved seeing and experiencing this magnificent city as much as possible both day and night.
To begin with, on our first evening in Istanbul, we took a dinner cruise on the Bosphorus Strait which lies between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. The Bosphorus Strait separates the European and Asian sides of Turkey and Istanbul itself and is lined with incredible sights. In the softening evening light, the Bosphorus Bridge, Rumeli Fortress, the Galata Bridge and Tower, the Ortakoy Mosque and the Dolmabahçe Palace, and Topkapi were all magnificent.
On our next full day in the city, we concentrated on the were able to see many of these sights including the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia, Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar.
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