Part 5: Turkey – Exploring Istanbul

Intro: Circling Southern Norway With A Side Trip To Turkey
Part 1: Getting To Oslo Via ORD Seminars
Part 2: Exploring Oslo
Part 3: Circling Southern Norway: Kristiansand, Stavanger And Bergen
Part 4: Norway In A Nutshell With A Stopover In Flam
Part 5: Turkey – Exploring Istanbul
Part 6: Turkey – Magical Cappadocia
Part 7: Flying Home In Style

We hopped on the ultra efficient airport express train back to OSL and planted at the gate.  Our paid flight in coach was on a newer Turkish A320 was pleasant and 3.5 hours later we landed in Istanbul.

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Approaching Ataturk On A Beautiful Day

We had lost a couple hours on the way, so by the time we boarded our ride to the hotel, it was dark out and the traffic was plentiful.  We opted to stay in the center of old town, at a boutique hotel called The Orient Express, which was reasonably priced and had pretty decent reviews.  They also provided a free airport transfer upon arrival at IST.

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Orient Express Boutique Hotel In Old Town

The rooms are all suites, with two bathrooms and a separate sitting room.  Nice for a little privacy when traveling with someone.  Breakfast was also included.

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It was dark out, but still early, and the city was alive.  We set out to get some fresh air and our bearings in the city.

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The Blue Mosque At Night
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Whirling Dervish Show At Local Restaurant

Istanbul is big, but there is a very reliable and modern tram system to get around the city.  We used is several times, though our hotel was central enough to walk to most areas.

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Convenient Tram System To Get You Where You Need To Go

No trip to Istanbul is complete without a bit of shopping at the Grand Bazaar.  We arrived early enough to miss the majority of the crowds.

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One Of The Entrances To The Grand Bazaar
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A Rainbow Of Spices

After a few hours of shopping, we headed down to the waterfront to catch a cruise on the Bosphorus.  We opted for the shorter, 2 hour version, which provided a nice break from all the walking.  It was a beautiful day and seeing things from a new perspective was interesting.

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View From The Boat

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Tea And Snacks Being Served On Board

I LOVE Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food and it was plentiful and delicious!

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Every Type Of Baklava Known To Man

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Time For Lunch

One night we took the tram to Taksim Square which is full of shopping, restaurants, and other nightlife.

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Colorful, Bustling Taksim Square
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Main Shopping Walkstreet

Though we could have stayed longer, before we knew it our 4 days was up and it was time to move on to Cappadoccia.  It took about an hour using a combination of the tram and train to get back to the airport.  Cost was around $3.

NEXT – Part 6:  Turkey – Magical Capaddocia

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