Istanbul


1 - A late afternoon departure from Tallinn turned into a 2am arrival in Istanbul. My first day featured a bit of wandering around Sultanahmet (the old city) and seeing the usual touristy sites - the constant barrage of human spam bots selling carpets got a bit annoying after a while (possibly not helped by 3 hrs of sleep). I went back to the hotel quite early to have a nap, and realised (it probably should've been quite obvious) that wearing an expensive camera around my neck was probably not the brightest thing to do, if only to avoid the hawkers... The city seemed to be quite safe (well, perhaps secure is the right word), with police and security on almost every corner, and soldiers with AK47s guarding the famous bits and pieces.


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11 - The hotel was a pretty reasonable 2* deal...


12 - ...and conveniently close to the waterfront for ship viewing purposes


13 - The idea of doing a bit of a cruise on the Bosphorus had been recommended by a couple of people, so I signed up for a tour and did that for a much of the 2nd day. Doing the tour turned out to be the best idea of my short stay there - the tour itself was nothing much, but I met a bunch of cool people, and we ended up going out on the town that evening.


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24 - My last day ended up being a bit of a waste - the Turkish idea of what a military museum should look like was not quite what I had in mind, and the palace we intended to visit ended up being closed by the time we arrived - so the only photographically worthwhile scenes were a few shots out towards the sunset.


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My departure at 3am the next morning went smoothly, and the flight to Frankfurt included an enjoyable couple of hours of turbulence, courtesy of a major storm over south eastern Europe. It was quite fun, actually - sitting there in the dark with a whole row to myself while the plane wallowed, rattled, and tried to shake itself to pieces... So, 42 hours after leaving Istanbul I was back in Wellington, and that was pretty much that.

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