How big is Istanbul
Many VT members are asking if they can walk in the city etc etc
I just want to give you some figures about istanbul
Istanbul is a city which the area of the municipalities ( except the rural area) is 5700km2
which this area is bigger than 32 countries of the world
Now lets compare the population According to official 2000 years statistics the population of istanbul is 10 million which you can extrapolate this figure up to 14-16 million in 2010
which only the population of Istanbul is bigger than 133 countries of the world
I think that now you have an idea how big it is and whats the population
Nargile part 1
As visitors to my other pages on the Middle East may already know, I am rather partial to a nargile from time to time! For those not in the know, what is nargile? Well, maybe you know it as chicha, ma'ada or hubble-bubble, or maybe just plain old water pipe, nargile is one of those unusual-looking things you see men (and in many places, women) puffing huge clouds of smoke from.
A few myths...Nargile uses cannabis: It does NOT! Nargile, in proper hands, is prepared using either plain tobacco (known as sade in Turkish) or tobacco which has been soaked in fruit flavoured water.
Nargile is not addictive: Umm, have to disagree. If there is nicotine, there will be addiction. Some say that because the water acts as a filter, the smoke is purer and less harmful. I've also heard that the fruit-flavoured tobaccos are less harmful and less addictive than the plain tobacco, which may well be true. However, if you indulge in an occasional apple or mint nargile during your holiday, you won't suddenly become a chain smoker.
You should always inhale the smoke: Again, no...you can inhale it if you like, but non-smokers can just breathe the smoke into their mouth and blow it straight out again without letting the smoke enter the lungs...you'll still be able to taste the flavour and enjoy the smell.
Nargile is for old men: Yes, it is for old men, but also for old women, young men, young women and anyone else in between! It has become quite trendy in recent years, and you'll find cafes all over Istanbul where locals and tourists of all shapes and sizes puff happily away on a nargile, pleasant smelling smoke filling the air to the sound of bubbling water.
How does a nargile work? I'm no scientist, but I'll attempt an explanation. The clay top contains the tobacco, which is covered with tinfoil. Charcoal is burned on top, sending smoke down into the glass container at the bottom. When you suck on the pipe, the smoke bubbles through the water before reaching your mouth.
Besiktas - Inonu Stadium
I must give a mention to the wonderful support the Besiktas fans gave their team during Liverpool's Champions League Group match. The stadium rocked all night. Sadly as with most clubs there are a small minority who spoil the reputation so well earned by the vast majority. As with all European trips we take spare scarves and badges to swap.
You don't need to book an expensive cruise to enjoy one of Istanbul's most romantic spectacle - the Bosphorus sunset. Around sunset, take one of the dozens of ferries to the Asian side (Uskudar and Kadikoy) from Eminonu or Karakoy on the European side and enjoy the Bosphorus sunset unfold before you - from pale orange, turning darker into flaming red, before darkness finally envelopes the horizon. Perhaps the most strategic location to watch and photograph the sunset would be from the back of the ferry boat where you have an unimpeded view of the Sultanahmet skyline.
Perhaps the only drawback of taking the local ferry is the presence of friendly kids who want their pictures taken, too, competing for the limited amount of time you have to capture the fleeting moments of Istanbul's romantic sunset.
Wear some warm clothes if it's around autumn and winter - the sea breeze could get chilly.
Enjoy the photos!
In Dolmabahce Palace, you are not allowed to take photos inside the building. On exiting, they do have a gift shop that sells postcards, dvds and other little nick nacks to do with the Palace. I bought a few items, so that I could have some memory of the beautiful Palace interior.