"Are we THERE yet?" Deneen1's Profile

Istanbul attractions - how to see everything!

Get up and out early! I was at Topkapi Palace at 9am and nobody was there! No lines for the wonderful exhibit of religious artifacts, including clippings from the prophet Mohammed's beard. Other friends didn't get there until noon and waited in line for over an hour. Got a fabulous free poster from the exhibit that I managed to get home and frame. Beautiful old Ottoman writing in gold foil on a burgundy background.
By noon I'd seen all of Topkapi, the Cisterns, and was visiting with my friend, Nurdogan, at Les Arts Turcs.

Istanbul - Getting Around

Ride the tram! It's inexpensive and easy. Purchase your ticket at the kiosk nearby (sometimes you really have to look around for it) then just shove your way on. It can be really crowded.
We stayed near the train station and I'd ride the tram up the hill and walk back down. It's maybe a 15-20 minute walk.

See the Istanbul underground cistern

The entrance can be a little hard to find, it's on a side street by Hagia Sophia, just to the left when facing Hagia Sophia. Fee was 10 lira, about $10 back in 2008. It's interesting and not very crowded.
Full of mood lighting, music, water, and sideways or upside down Medusa heads.

Istanbul Spice Market

Go to the "Egyptian Spice Market". It's where the locals go, so few tourists and no hassles. And of course, lots of spices!

Marrakech, Morocco - Djmaa El Fnaa

Eat the snails! They're really good!
Pick out a food stall in the square that is full of Moroccans and wait for a vacant seat. Get a bowl of steaming hot snails with broth for 5 dirham, that's less than $1. And of course, eat seconds if you're still hungry.

Meknes, Morocco - shopping

Looking at beautiful galabeyas in Meknes. Just looking. Actually I really want them all but can't carry them.

Photos in Morocco

Most merchants will let you take photos of their wares, but not them. Moroccans don't like to have their pictures taken, so always ask first.
Lovely plates, shisha pipes and tiny tagines for sale.

Marrakech, Morocco - Getting Around

There is a "Hop-on Hop-off Bus" in Marrakech. It costs about $16 and the ticket is good for 24 hours. Goes by all the major tourist attractions and there are two routes. It is great for getting the lay of the land so to speak.
You buy your ticket, get on the bus, get off at any stop, sight see, get back on when another bus comes by. How easy is that?

  • Intro Updated May 21, 2010
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Comments (8)

  • kingip's Profile Photo
    Jan 18, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    Happy B/D!

  • selim45's Profile Photo
    Jan 19, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    happy birthdaY deneen..,

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    May 17, 2011 at 12:45 PM

    nice page Deneen - really gets me wanting to get back and do a refresher trip plus what I missed of my first trip to Istanbul. Nice pics of Marrakech/Morocco here

  • earthflyer's Profile Photo
    Sep 16, 2010 at 10:52 PM

    Hi Deneen1 Thanks for the visit. Taza is worth a day trip from Taza and the train will only take about 2 hours but the service is limited.

  • Swades's Profile Photo
    Jan 17, 2007 at 9:14 PM

    many-2 return of day. Wish ur dream come true..love and smile..vivek

  • planxty's Profile Photo
    Jan 18, 2005 at 5:07 PM

    Birthday wishes from London. Have a good one. fergy.

  • Jan 18, 2004 at 7:08 PM

    Welcome to VT..Awaiting more..Many many happy returns of the day..Wishing you a happy birthday.

  • saidur_khan's Profile Photo
    Jan 18, 2004 at 3:00 AM

    Happy birthday, wish you all the best and have a nice great birthday, Greetings from Bangladesh.

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