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Travelling to Turkey!

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by lopo2000, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. lopo2000

    lopo2000 Sexy Member

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    I'm very excited! I already booked a ticket to Istanbul and very nervous because this will be my first flight experience ever! So, anybody from Turkey here who can give tips and advice on what to do over there?
     
  2. nudeyorker

    nudeyorker Cherished Member

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    You will have a wonderful time. I love Turkey. I have not been there in almost ten years. There is an active member here who lives there who I'm sure can give you some wonderful advice. Have fun.
     
  3. Mastur

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    Just take care in where you stick your baster...!
     
  4. D_Tim McGnaw

    D_Tim McGnaw Account Disabled

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    Oh Instanbul is one of the most bewitching cities on earth, I went there ten years ago and had an amazing time, so jealous. I have family there I should go visit some time :)
     
  5. lopo2000

    lopo2000 Sexy Member

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    Thanks guys, I still don't have a clue what to do over there... But I know about the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar and the palace. What else eh?
     
  6. Magnum9x7

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    There are some very good guide books available. Try the Rough Guide or Lonely Planet. Time Out also publishes a useful guide to what to do and see in Istanbul.
     
  7. D_Gunther Snotpole

    D_Gunther Snotpole Account Disabled

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    I'd love to go to Turkey but have never been.
    But I know one thing I would want to see -- the Hagia Sophia, now a museum, but which was once the largest cathedral in Christendom and was later made into a mosque.
    It's considered a classic example of Byzantine architecture.
     
  8. vince

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    There are many places on the list not to miss.
    The Basilica Cistern, Süleymaniye Camii, the Topkapi Saray complex, Ayasofya... and so much more. The city has been called the world's largest archeological museum.

    Whatever you want, someone has it for sale. Probably you don't even know you need it, but they will have several varieties to suit any taste or pain threshold. There are many things hidden and many layers to peel back.

    The best thing is drinking tea beside the Bosphorus, watching the life go on.

    How many days do you have?
     
  9. lopo2000

    lopo2000 Sexy Member

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    I'm going for 10 days. I heard at Bosphorus there is this fish dish that should not be missed.
     
  10. vince

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    That would be Hamsi. But the season is in the fall. No worries though, the food is fabulous. Get away from the touristic Sultanahmet district and go to Taksim and Beyoğlu. Galata, Beşıtaş, Ortakoy for good food. Or Kadıköy on the Asian side. Take the ferry across the Bosporus. Be sure to use the old boats, not the new ones.
     
  11. lopo2000

    lopo2000 Sexy Member

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    old boats? any reasons for that?
     
  12. onewatcher

    onewatcher Loved Member

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    WARNING!!!! If a shoe shiner is walking in front of you and drops his brush, DO NOT pick it up!!! It is a scam done all over the city. He will thank you by shinning your shoes and then rip you off for cash!!! Happend my second time there this last summer. It had been many years since i was there and I had forgotten this. Thought I was being nice and picked up the brush. For the rest of my stay, I watched this happen several more times! Otherwise, it's an awesome city. Went to the only gay hammam. THAT was an experience!
     
  13. lopo2000

    lopo2000 Sexy Member

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    oh yeah! is there gay hammam? Are people going there all fit and well-shaped? plz post details!
     
  14. mrplow2

    mrplow2 Experimental Member

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    You'll love turkey. I went when I was rather young.

    Istanbul is a great city. One of my favourites on the planet. There is so much culture there. You have to see the Grand Bazaar, Topkapi palace, the blue mosque, hagia sophia.

    I also went to Izmir, Ankara, Konya and Antalya. Antalya is awesome too.
     
  15. lopo2000

    lopo2000 Sexy Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion! I will definitely go there, thanks to the people who will guide us...
     
  16. mrplow2

    mrplow2 Experimental Member

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    I stayed here in Antalya. It was awesome. The building itself is a historical site. I remember that there were alot of kittens running around the property too.

    There are tons of local food merchants in the harbour. The food is amazing.

    You need to see Capadocia and the underground cities. It's amazing to see the extremes that people go through to survive.

    Ephesus is awesome.

    Try some Raki too. It's an anise flavoured liquor!

    I'm so jealous! I want to go back!
     
  17. lopo2000

    lopo2000 Sexy Member

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    OMG! Thank you mrplow, that's a really good and practical suggestion! I will definitely think of that. :)
     
  18. ghb69

    ghb69 Sexy Member

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    Have a safe trip and enjoy yourself.
     
  19. Gillette

    Gillette Sexy Member

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    Istanbul is gorgeous. The architecture makes the history tangible. Just breathtaking.

    One bit of advice not offered in this thread yet is to haggle in the markets.
    If you pay the marked price you've paid too much. What's more, the merchants seem to like you better for engaging in this time honoured tradition.

    While hunting for leather ottoman covers I finally found a colour combination I liked. Other merchants had theirs priced at 6-8 Euros, this one was 12. I mentioned the discrepancy and the following exchange occurred.
    Him - Ours are better quality.
    Me - uh huh. I'll give you 6 euros.
    Him - 10.
    Me - 6.
    Him - 9.
    Me(thinking almost to the 8 I wanted) - okay, 7.
    Him - 10.
    Me - WHAT?! You just went up again! How about this? I pay nothing and you can keep it.
    Him - Are you Turkish?

    Final price 7 euros.


    Another shop owner was pushing on me a unique leather rolling suitcase that he had priced at 200 euros. It was gorgeous but I didn't need a suitcase but he kept shaving the price down to entice the purchase. I had hoped to put a quick end to it by complaining of low finances and suggesting an insultingly low amount (40 CDN). He shook his head sadly that that would not be possible. I apologized and complimented him on his wares and left for the bus almost a block away. I wasn't seated on the bus for two minutes before he charged up the bus steps WITH the damned suitcase! He said he'd take the 40 CDN for it! OMFG, between the shock, guilt and embarrassment I gave him the 40 for the suitcase. I can't believe he made a profit from the sale so I suspect that making the sale is somehow an issue of pride over profit. Yikes.

    Start around 70% of the marked price and enjoy the haggle to somewhere in between. It'll save you some money and give you some neat stories to take home.
     
  20. 68306

    68306 Guest

    One seller at a market (not Istanbul) said to another seller that he was sick of making money.


    (Also, I found carefully examining an object gets them quickly dropping the price...)
     
  21. Northland

    Northland Experimental Member

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    If it hadn't been for some bad blood, I would most likely have been raised in Turkey, in Ordu along the Black Sea. Most of Turkey is a delight, the people, the food, the sounds, the scenery, all flood the senses and leave you breathless in awe of that which you will find there.


    Istanbul is absolutely stunning and you should have a wonderful time. Enjoy!
     
  22. lopo2000

    lopo2000 Sexy Member

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    I find this post to be very enlightening and useful. Thank you! I'll keep it in mind!

    For others, I thank you guys and appreciate the replies. You guys have been very helpful too!
     
  23. D_Tim McGnaw

    D_Tim McGnaw Account Disabled

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    Aghia Sophia is an absolute must, so is Topkapisaray. I quite liked the run down atmosphere of the Pera district which once had a large greek community, and the food I had on the Asian side of the Bosphoros was far superior to anything I had in the more touristy parts of the european side.

    Be sure to imbibe of Huzzun, Istanbul's native atmosphere of nostalgic melancholy, I recommend taking any book by Orhan Pamuk with you to read especially his book "Istanbul (Memories and the City)" it's a beautiful memoire about growing up in Istanbul during the 60's and 70's which gives you a very interesting window on the character of the city.

    Amazon.co.uk: istanbul orhan pamuk: Books
     
  24. lopo2000

    lopo2000 Sexy Member

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    Thank you! Those are good suggestions. I think now I'm starting to have the pictures here. Everybody seems to be stressing on the architecture, I'll surely be focusing on that.
     
  25. Gillette

    Gillette Sexy Member

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    Hagia Sofia = Aya Sofya and other variations
    Blue Mosque = Sultanahmet Camii and other variations
    Topkapi Palace = Topkapi Sarayi and other variations

    We must all be confusing the hell out of you.

    Honestly between the Blue Mosque and Aya Sofya, which are only a five minute walk from each other, I was much more impressed by the former. The muslim proscription against idols and imagery meant that instead of multiple images of particular personages mosques were decorated with intricate designs. The colourful tilework is beautiful, the ironwork for the low hanging lights is incredibly elaborate and the interior architecture is stunning all on it's own.

    I tried in vain to find an image of the lights looking down from above but these are the best I could find.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6f/Blue_Mosque_Interior_2009.JPG
    http://www.jnewcomb.com/Cycling/Cycle2005/Turkey/Istanbul/CIMG0756.jpg

    After that I found the Hagia Sofia to be quite drab. Sure, there's plenty of gold work and murals but I found the images of the man who had it commissioned to be nothing more than self aggrandizing.

    Just outside the Blue Mosque is the Hippodrome where you'll see two Egyptian obelisks and a serpentine column brought during Roman times (The Vatican also has an Egyptian obelisk just outside it's doors :rolleyes:) There used to be four great bronze horse statues as well but those were taken by the crusaders to St Marks in Venice (where I'll get to see them this May).

    You can see the Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Aya Sofya and Topkapi Palace all in the same day easily, but expect to be tired from a lot of walking. You'll want the most time for Topkapi.

    If you have time and an interest in the softer side of war trivia on the Asian side is the Florence Nightingale Museum. If you can find a ferry going to Harem from the European side it will take you close (10-20 min walk?) to the Museum.

    When do you leave? How long do you have there?
     
  26. Novaboy

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    As others have said, get a good guide book. They are worth every penny. I also go to flickr and google images. It gives you a good idea of scenic places you may like to visit. I like guide books with lots of photos when the place I'm going is new to me and then a second guide book that is mostly text for more detailed information such as hotels, transportation, guided tours etc.
     
  27. luka82

    luka82 Sexy Member

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    you`ll love it:):):):)
     
  28. vince

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    Because they are quiet and fabulous and beautiful and smooth as silk. And they look like this-bosporus ferry

    I have never seen a "gay" hamam and if there is one, it's undercover and you won't find it. But if you want a great experience, go to the Cagaloğlu Hamami, which is this incredible 18th century hamam. It's all hot slabs of marble and domes and hairy massage guys and mounds of soap bubbles. It's an amazing experience and right in the core of the tourist area but frequented by the locals.

    The Dolmabahçe Palace in Beyoğlu has the world's largest crystal chandelier and even features a Baccarat crystal staircase.

    Well, IMO the two are equally amazing in different ways.

    The Blue Mosque is all about light and soaring columns and that gorgeous Iznik tile and you are right about it's beauty.

    Yet the more I see it, the more I love the dark and brooding architecture of St Sophia. It is what I'd expect to see in Middle Earth. Plus those mosaics are really beautiful and it is about a thousand years older. It was the largest church in the world for over 1,000 years and then, after the Conquest, it was the principle mosque of Istanbul for nearly 500 more years. It was the model for all the famous mosques of Islam. When you walk the halls of the Aya Sophia you are walking though perhaps the most important architectural treasure of the world.
     

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  29. lopo2000

    lopo2000 Sexy Member

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    Thank you for the clarifications. I appreciate it. I'll be leaving on 18th April and I have 10 days to stay.

    Will do. Thanks for the reminder. :)

    Even if it's not gay, I think I should be visiting one hamam. I think it's one of features of the country, correct me if I'm wrong. I thought of the 'gay' one because of of the posters earlier mentioned something about it. :) So it intrigued me.
     
  30. mrplow2

    mrplow2 Experimental Member

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    There is an interesting story behind the blue mosque. The Sultan wanted it to have gold (altin) minarets but the architect misunderstood him and made six (alti) minarets.
     
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