Are you planning your summer vacation and looking for somewhere just a little different? Over the next several weeks I am going to do a series of posts about places that are just a little bit off the beaten path.
Istanbul is just a little east of the west. Comfortable in Western Europe? Istanbul is just different enough that you will still feel like you are in a major city like London or Rome but instead of cathedrals dotting the skyline, some of the world’s most famous mosques and lavish turkish palaces provide an elegant backdrop to your surroundings.
Meditate in the Blue Mosque:
(Courtesy of National Geographic)
Set against the Bosphorus, which literally is the body of water that divides Europe and Asia, the Blue Mosque has six minarets from which the calls to prayer echo from early in the morning until evening.
Spend all of your lira shopping in the bazaars:
(Courtesy of Photographer’s Direct)
From belly dancing outfits to saffron, the spice bazaar and grand bazaar will overwhelm all of your senses and clean out your wallet if you are not careful. But some of the most beautiful pottery and handwoven rugs to be found anywhere in world come from here. As long as you have your haggling skills and a good attitude handy you will happily get lost in the maze of shops for days.
Relax in the turkish bath:
No trip to Istanbul is complete without a rubdown by a turkish woman in a bath house that is hundreds of years old. Cemberlitas Hamam is such a place to come and relax after a hard day shopping.
This is only the tip of the iceberg, if you want to know more simply comment on the post and I can provide you with where to stay in the city, delicious restaurants and best times of the year to visit. Just ask!