Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Holiday in Istanbul




Thinking of visiting an exotic destination for your next trip? Readers of Get Up & Go magazine may have visited Istanbul 30 or so years ago in their hippie heyday - say no more! I'm 24 hours away from flying out of a city of more than 15 million people - Istanbul. I've been here for just four and a half days after a brilliant cruise from Athens to Istanbul.
After the peace and sailing serenity, arriving in Istanbul was like a shot of adrenalin.
What an extraordinary place, layer up on layer of history - talking Turkey means talking Hittites, Persians, Romans, Gauls, Macedonians, Ottoman Turks - and an amazing, glittering era of Byzantine rule and splendor.
When I see a pile of pomegranates, next to a tray of fresh dates - I'm seeing the same thing here that someone else was checking out at the green grocer's a few thousand years ago.
I am here in the middle of Ramadan, and there aren't too many people in a bad mood. I wonder as a man serves me dinner - houmus, shepherd's salad, kebabs, bread floating across the room with air filled wings; all finished off with a plate of sliced watermelon. A glass of apple tea washes it all down as a cup of the high octane Turkish coffee would keep me awake until next week.
Everything about Istanbul is full on . . .more to come.
Tonight staying at Divan Istanbul City - www.divan.com.tr - nighty, night, the air con is being pumped up tonight.
Enjoy a couple of non 'postcard perfect' pictures from the frontline.

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