Map of World - Click a place Brad's been

October 2023 - Turkiye; Istanbul

Turkiye.  A country I had on top of my list since it was known as Turkey, haha.  Somebody buy those Turkiye websites!  With nerves and anticipation it was time to put a check mark beside this country in my list and not just for a couple days...3 weeks or so.

Day 18-20. Istanbul, Turkiye. Left from from Burgas, Bulgaria on a highly recommended turkish bus lines.  Took Nisikli bus for 5.5 hours (border stop about 1 hr) to arrive in the rain and to no directions on how to get from the Central Bus Station to CK Hotel in heart of touristic Istanbul. It was super exciting to be in Turkiye for the first time and I walked and walked and walked and walked taking in as much as possible in only 3 days!  Probably walked 15 km in two hardcore days of touring.

First and only stop on trip to Istanbul...only 
10 minutes out of Burgas...weird and ugly.
And apparently they stopped here on the way
in to Burgas too!

beverage and snack service
but no bathroom...

Cute tea package

Signs the bus is curving hard

First looks at Turkiye

Europe feel, kinda

Another satisfied customer


Single serving water

20 million people you say...

Football stadiums, big in Turkiye yet never
in the world cup (2002).


Rush hour

Full metro

Little 1.5km walk to hotel in
the rain.

CK Hotel!

Side Story: When I finally was assisted by a civilian to help me buy a metro ticket, 3 trips for $4, I tapped the turnstile and it didn't work after the 3rd passage I bought I realised I was paying for the turnstile beside me...uff.  Some times we rip ourselves off travelling.  hahaha.

Little video of first Turkiye hotel.  Had everything, but too loud to stay more nights and no hospitality as all communication via whatsapp.  7 out of 10.  Bad shower.

Didn't expect that many steps

Wow...almost a hover bike

Rainy night

Piping hot casserole still bubbling at Limon Cafe.

Tom Square Hotel a few steps up, literally around the corner and to the room on the top floor.  Leave your shoes in the lobby, put on some slippers and climb to some amazing views in the loft penthouse spot.  Hosted by the lovely Tomaruck owner.

views from the room

Yep, I can see the Blue Mosque

Another cat country

Tight streets

Out on the streets at 11am in October not expecting this level of tourism.

Monuments beside Blue Mosque

Theodsuis Dikilitasi

Blue Mosque

Too packed to go in this day

Hagia Sophia

Again just packed to go in

Turns out the cruise ships
had landed...line ups

Tasty pistachio bar, yum!

Downhill to the Galata Bridge

Gulhane Park

How many people sit there
on this guys lap.

Column of the Goths

Definitely saw more dogs laying in Istanbul

Catch anything good?

Panorama of the harbour

Walking towards Galata Bridge and catching sight of all the cruise ships.

A whole world of restaurants 
and whatnot below the bridge
A major transit spot

Check out the auto fishing setup

Need one of those for Playa

Not a bad spot by the harbour

Derya, pretty good

Lots of stairs in Istanbul

Galata Tower and view from restaurant "Roof Bar".

That guy's ass would be in my
face if I was sitting in my spot

Girls not eating their food and just on phones

Incredible candy shop
What a job

Looks like chaos...

That's up hill too!

Galata Tower from below


Sut Misir, roasted corn

Crossing back to the main tourist zone

Suleymaniye Mosque

Lining up the birds

Suleymaniye Mosque

Spice Bazar - All the colours and flavours.

No milk, no gluten...maybe?

Into the Grand Bazar

Everyday like this

Walking back to the water

Tea service

Tomaruck recommending

Oops, a city service truck swung past on the
corner and caught the facade.  Missed the 
internet cables somehow.

Blue Mosque lit up


Height restricted phone booth

two cats cuddling the benches

Off to Istanbul Asia side via train under the cannel ($4) then back to Europe on the water ($1...makes no sense).  Loved Asia side being more chill.

tight packing must weigh a ton

under the sea

Istanbul Asia

Sea Point Cafe, blew the waiters mind with my Blackberry! If you are under 25 you may not even know of a blackberry, but 2023 had a movie about them so all good now.  Kids will catch up on it.

Definitely more authentic
on the Asia side.

Some countries must be so
tough for vegetarians

Ayazma Mosque

Just a shot of construction

Ayazma Mosque

Grade school

Fire department

Those concrete blocks make it
tough to park on the sidewalk

Looking back to Blue Mosque etc

Kiz Kulesi - Maiden Tower

What's he doing?

Sweet bus

Back across the cannel

Barbaros Square

Dolmabahce Palace

Tupras Stadyumu

Quite the climb to Taksim

Taksim Square

Trolley backdown to Galata Tower.  Big day walking...8 km or so.

Evil Eyes

Fresh pomegranate juice

Finally figured out the time of day to visit Hagia Sofia and Blue Mosque.  Couldn't leave without doing that right?

Dinner at Hos Seda as recommended.  Not bad.  Best part is I met a mixed Danish family that invited me to join them for a drink after I shared my Raki with them.  They told me it was a highlight of their trip.

So pricy $20.

Loved this as the family wanted
to divide up the bill so waiter
took a seat like an accountant

Thomas, Michael, Lucas, Sister
My fish dinner

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