Istanbul, June 2011

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29 Pics, the final stop in the Insight Vacations Vienna to Istanbul “Eastern Discovery” tour.

Istanbul was fascinating, colourful, fast and furious. Amazingly ancient, with evidence of settlement on the site dating back to the 7th millennium BC, before the Bosphorus Sea was even formed. Very big but not modern to our eyes, with wonders such as the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia used alternatively as church and mosque back and forth over the centuries and now a museum with the whitewash removed so that all of the symbols are visible at once. Remarkably expensive ancient buildings.

The Grand Bazaar and spice markets were jostling and bustling great places, the little treats like fresh Turkish Delight and Turkish Coffee all going down very well together.

The traffic was chaotic with cars routinely driving at right angles in font of our coach and squeezing into the traffic. There is a joke that sums it up:

In Australia (US, etc) red light is compulsory. If you don’t stop you end up fined or in jail,
In Italy, red light is optional.
In Istanbul, red light is decoration. Ha Ha. Oh how we laughed and many a true word spoken in jest.

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