Istanbul, not Constantinople

Jodi & Chris take on Istanbul : Top 10 things to see & do

1. The Grand Baazar & Spice Market:

If you enjoy being hoched for rugs, jewelry, Turkish delight, dried fruit, nuts, scarves, towels, tea or spices this is the place for you. Bring small bills and be ready to haggle! And remember always buy Iranian saffron (don’t buy Syrian or Allah-forbid, Turkish)!

2. Enjoy a Turkish tea or Effes beer under the Galata bridge while also partaking in a local past-time of Nargile (waterpipe, hookah, sheesha) at sunset. Just be wary of the fishermen’s hooks swinging from the bridge above.

3. The Basilica Cistern: Underground water chamber capable of holding 100,000 tons of water supported by 336 columns (each 30’ high). Built in 476 ad, wow – that’s old!

4. Topkapi Palace: Circumcision room- yep, that made the top Ten. The exquisite tile and views (you pay for the view of the Bosphorus River and Marmara Sea, most expensive place to get a coke – almost 3 bucks). Lovely collection of jewels, china, silver that are impressive “spoils” of war.

5. Blue Mosque built-in 1603, named for the interior tile work is a wonderful place to visit but as it is a working mosque be mindful of the following prayer times: 5am, 7am, noon, 2 pm, 4pm and 6pm.

6. Boat tour on the Bosphorus River. Don’t be fooled, the castle at the last stop is off-limits but if you’re interested in a serious stair master hike go for the views.

7. Lamb Kebab, Lamb meatballs, lamb stew or really anything lamb. For vegetarians, they also have lamb.

8. Yogurt: for breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner…thin, thick, with a straw, with a spoon, with honey, with fruit, with lamb.

9. Go to Taksim & take in the view of old Istanbul from the Galata tower. 

10. A visit to the Turkish bath (Hammam). What can I say? When a large, Turkish, topless woman gives you a scrub like no ones business it’s memorable – given my current location I can’t really say more as I’m sure this is being monitored.

11. I know this is a top Ten list but the fresh OJ, pomegranate and grapefruit juice is a MUST, MUST, MUST – it’s a a buck. Best deal around. If you’re not into lamb, yogurt, lentil soup, rice or bread you can just have a juice diet through Turkey.

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2 Responses to Istanbul, not Constantinople

  1. Oh you make me laugh! I love reading these and getting a small glimpse at the amazing things you are doing! Continue travelling safe! xoxo

  2. gym rating says:

    Glad to read this blog! Keep it going!

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