Friday, June 15, 2007

Preblogging: Sights of Istanbul

Friday, June 15 Following the advice of travel writer Tom Brosnahan, we'll see the main sights of Istanbul today. Or we'll start out on his suggested itinerary anyway. There is an outside chance we'll get tired before doing it all, and if we do we can always save some for tomorrow!

ISTANBUL IN ONE DAY Istanbul's top sights are grouped right around the Hippodrome in Sultanahmet Square, so you can visit them all on your first (or only) day. MORNING Topkapi Palace (9-5, closed Tuesday; stay 2-3 hr). Get there at 8:45 am and go straight to the Harem, which gets overcrowded Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia) (9-4, closed Monday; stay 1 hr). Right next to Topkapi. Don't miss the best mosaics, on the upper level. LUNCH nearby on Divan Yolu: Sultan Pub, Sultanahmet Köfteci, etc. AFTERNOON Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii) (stay 1/2 hr). Just across the park from Ayasofya, on the Hippodrome. The mosque is closed to visitors for 25 minutes after each call to prayer, and for several hours midday on Friday. Byzantine Hippodrome (stay 1/2 hr). Enjoy the monuments in the park--if the postcard and carpet vendors will let you! Sunken Palace Cistern (Yerebatan Sarayi) (9-5; stay 1/2 hr). At the NE end of the Hippodrome beneath the little park. Grand Bazaar (9-5, closed Sunday; stay 1-2 hrs, longer if you're really shopping). Walk uphill on Divan Yolu from the Hippodrome and see the sights along the way, or take the tram along it to Çarsikapi (CHAR-shuh-kah-puh).

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Sandy June 16, 2007 4:09 PM  

Are you seeing any possible new quilt patterns in the mosaics, tiles, stain glass etc? Would love to see a picture of the mosaics in the Ayasofya...hope you got some. And what is the Harem in Topkapi Palace? Are you overwhelmed with so much wonderment?

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