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Istanbul- Constantinople- Byzanz. The city on two continents, situated at the Bosphorus between Marmarasea and black sea. Officially 9 million, unofficially 14 million inhabitants. Border between Asia and Europe, between Orient and Occident. Mosques and bazaars, western Lifestyle and deep tradition.

The reason for our 4-day trip in Istanbul was the eye operation of Vivien (see link below). Since this time, she sees again without eyeglasses and contact lens, like an eagle!
Already on the way from the airport to the city we were fascinated by the fairy taleful silhouette with their innumerable domes and minarets. Again and again we drove along on parts of the 21 km long and very massive city-wall.

 

Istanbul  -  Click for large image !

Sultanahmet  -  Click for large image !  Mosque  -  Click for large image !  Istanbul  -  Click for large image !  Istanbul  -  Click for large image !  Istanbul  -  Click for large image !

Istanbul  -  Click for large image !  Citywall  -  Click for large image !  Istanbul  -  Click for large image !

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The Bosphorus,  the strait between the Asiatic and the European continent is connected by a 1 km long freely floating bridge and offers apart from the awful traffic, beautiful views on the two banks of the Bosphorus. A trip by ship or a long walk along the banks, you should not miss.

 

Bosphorusbridge  -  Click for large image !  Bosphorus  -  Click for large image !  Bosphorus  -  Click for large image !

 

Sultanahmet Mosque,  better known as the blue mosque is decorated with blue tiles and with its 6 minarets, instead of the usual 4,  it belongs to the most famous buildings beside the Hagia Sophia. During the prayer hours hundreds of Muslims come here to pray. It is an impressing experience.

Mosque  -  Click for large image !  Mosque  -  Click for large image !  Mosque  -  Click for large image !  Mosque  -  Click for large image !

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Beside the old traditional quarters, Istanbul especially around the Taksim place, offers also a completely modern, western city centre with pedestrian including the usual, international Shops and restaurants. Only the historical streetcar reminds of the old time. Off this mile you can find also traditional restaurants and tea gardens with a various offer of the local food.

 

Istikklal Caddesi  -  Click for large image !  Istikklal Caddesi  -  Click for large image !  Istikklal Caddesi  -  Click for large image !  Taksim Place  -  Click for large image !  Restaurant - Click for large image !  Taksim Place  -  Click for large image ! 

 

A further dominating building is the Galata tower at the northern end of the Galatabridge. At the top you have a  spectacular view over the whole city. In the evening there is a folklore dance- and  dinnershow, but the price is very, very expensive € 60 per person.  We did not do it.

Galata Tower   -  Click for large image !  View from Galata Tower  -  Click for large image !  View from Galata Tower  -  Click for large image !  View from Galata Tower  -  Click for large image !  View from Galata Tower  -  Click for large image !  View from Galata Tower  -  Click for large image ! 

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You can see the traditional lifestyle of Istanbul  at its best by strolling at the Grande  Bazaar. Its gigantic extents of nearly 31 hectars and over 3000 shops in labyrinth lanes and hundreds of domes which are covered with lead and windows, make the visit to a very special experience. Spices, gold, carpets, ceramics, copper- and brassware, leather goods, everything is present and loudly offered by the sellers. Trade and bargain are the typically oriental style there and for us fascinating again and again.

Grand Bazaar  -  Click for large image!  Bazar  -  zum Vergroessern bitte anklicken !  Grand Bazaar  -  Click for large image!  Grand Bazaar  -  Click for large image!  Grand Bazaar  -  Click for large image!  Grand Bazaar  -  Click for large image! 

Grand Bazaar  -  Click for large image!  Grand Bazaar  -  Click for large image!  Grand Bazaar  -  Click for large image!

 

Topkapi Palace, the old Sultan-Palace  lies in the midst of a beautiful park and belongs to the most important objects of interest in Istanbul. The view from here to the Bosphorus, the Golden Horn and the city is spectacular. Above all we were fascinated from the architecture and the equipment of the most different rooms, halls and pavilions. A fairy tale palace as from thousands and one night. We forgot the time by looking at all and photographing so we missed the closing time at the Harem at 4 o´clock . Its gates were already closed and we had bought the tickets in vain.

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Topkapi Palace  -  Click for large image!  Topkapi Palace  -  Click for large image!  Topkapi Palace  -  Click for large image!  Topkapi Palace  -  Click for large image!  Topkapi Palace  -  Click for large image!  Topkapi Palace  -  Click for large image!

Topkapi Palace  -  Click for large image!  Topkapi Palace  -  Click for large image!  Topkapi Palace  -  Click for large image!  Topkapi Palace  -  Click for large image!  Topkapi Palace  -  Click for large image!

 

Beside the western life-style there are still the old traditions alive. You can see masked women and traditional craftsmen everywhere in the streets. The Social structure is always dominated by men.

Istanbul  -  Click for large image!  Istanbul  -  Click for large image!  Istanbul  -  Click for large image!

 

Our trip to Istanbul was not only successful in reference of the eye operation. The whole city with the different ways of life, the  impressing buildings and the bustling street life  has fascinated us at all. Istanbul is worth visiting, in any case.

 

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InterNet addresses:                                                                   

Mim Hotel

EyeSTAR Lasik Institut

www.Istanbul.com

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