We ventured over to Taxim on our last day and climbed the Galata tower. Which was the best view of Istanbul.
It really gave us a true appreciation of all the mosques plonked in the city.
It was another beautiful sunny day as well so clear sky's
After that we grabbed some lunch and then headed to Hagia Sophia before we left for the airport.
There was renovations in the Hagia but it was still beautiful. It was so fascinating to see the walls that was plastered over after they transformed it from a Catholic Church to an Islamic mosque. They have semi reviewed the old times behind it.
28 May 2017
We went to buyukada island (the biggest and most visited one)
We caught the 8:30 ferry out there because it is advised due it being very busy on a sunny Sunday.
We left ourselves ample time in the morning but had a massive balls up. We were recommended to get an Istanbul card as it's cheaper and had to get the tram. I put 20TL in and didn't get any change and thought I was going to lose all the rest but master realised we needed it for the ferry and everything so was worth it. Nicole also only had a big note and didn't want to lose it also asked for changes, and I nice boy ended up just giving her a 5TL to top up with. We then missed the tram and didn't know when the next one would come so jumped in a cab... which actually takes longer because of traffic (and we later learnt that they come like every 2 mins hehe) anyways we didn't want to miss the early ferry so we did what we had to to know we would make it.
We got to the island, had some breaky and coffee and then got ourselves a bike (there is "no cars" on the island just bikes and horses and carts) The guy promised us good bikes and we got him down to 50TL for both (10TL cheaper than he originally said)
Nicole's bike had broken gears which were a pain the whole time and she was a trouper.
We rode the small loop around and stopped at Naki bey (the beach recommended by the concierge - who lived on one of the islands) there was none there and it cost 40TL to use the beach but we got him down to 35TL each.
We spent a couple of hours in the sun before getting back on the bikes and hiking up to the Luna park restaurant (also recommended because of the panoramic views) not that great though. Then we realised we had to wait until 5:30 for the next ferry so rode back down and stopping for coffee and rest. We got back Eminonu port had fish dinner under the bridge then back to the hotel for steam room and Turkish bath before bed.
27 May 2017
Our 2 hour highly recommended free walking tour turned out to be nearly 4 hours and was crap (I couldn't understand any of what he was talking about and couldn't follow) we didn't cover half of what we were promised to cover but at least it was a nice sunny day to be walking around.
After that we went to the blue mosque and had to wear beautiful blue skirts cause we had leggings on. It was not as spectacular as I thought but we saw it.
We went for a lovely walk through gulhane park (adorable) and tried some chestnuts (yum)
We then went to the spice market and I went nuts and brought like 100TL ($37) worth of spices and dates and nuts. It was so much fun and crazy in the spice bizzare. They were a lot more pushy than the grande bizzare though.
For dinner we went across to taxim and went to a really fancy but delicious restaurant recommended by Anna's work colleague. The English was not great but they were very nice. And I had tahini brûlée for dessert 😱
26 May 2017
Doubletree by Hilton in sultanamet was really quiet and great service and in excellent position