I would definately head to turkey after greece, it is such a brilliant country. If you are worried about getting the most out of your trip it may be a good idea to go through a tour company. I used Walkabout Travel - www.walkabout.com.tr - and they were brilliant. they wouldd definately make sure you see all the sites and can help with organising travel to Cappadocia etc. I travelled with them and dont have a bad thing to say, they were excellent. they will also let you know how much time you will need to get the most out of Istanbul etc.
:) I loved all of Istanbul, though i think the Bazars where definately my favourits, especially the spice bazar. the fun and colours and general atmosphere can not be found anywhere else. Just soaking in the atmosphere is what it is all about.
A scene from last Eastern....We'd been invited to a Eastern lunch to one of our friend's parent's house on that day...so I could have a chance to take some shots of that cute sea gull. Since they've started to feed it, it became a member of that house.
Nargile part 2
Elma = apple
Nane = mint
Sheftali = peach
These are the most common, although some trendier cafes offer all manner of flavours, including vishne (sour cherry), bal (honey), manga (mango), and various concoctions using milk instead of water (coconut is the usual suspect). Take my advice, and stick to the common ones...mint is my favourite, with apple a close second.
Every so often, waiters come round with a metal container full of hot coals, and will replace your old ones. This means you can smoke nargile for over an hour quite easily. If your coals finish and nobody comes to the rescue, a handy phrase is "atesh, lutfen" (literally "fire, please").
Where to try nargile? Well, almost anywhere in Istanbul nowadays. Many places in sultanahmet have nargile, although prices may be high in the touristy places. Near to Suleymaniye Camii, look for a doorway leading to an open-air cafe in a courtyard below, which is a very pleasant place to spend an hour or so with a pipe. Taksim's backstreets are full of cafes which offer nargile. Try Kafeka on the street running behind the Istiklal branch of McDonalds, or the cafe of the Atlas Sinema, roughly about halfay down Istiklal Caddesi. The Galata bridge also has some great nargile places, although prices are a little higher here.
The best place in all Istanbul for atmosphere is Tophane. From Taksim square, take Siraselviler Caddesi to the end, cross over the busy main road to the impressive mosque. Between that mosque and another equally impressive one, there is a road full of nargile places, ranging from ultra trendy with cushions on which to lounge, to more traditional ones with tables, chairs and backgammon. Any time of day is busy in Tophane, but evening is the time to go. It is also on the tramline from Eminonu and Sultanahmet, so an easy and relaxing night out for anyone staying over there.
In Taksim and other central areas, a nargile costs around 4 or 5YTL. The trendier the cafe, the higher the prices.
Strole along Mar Mar Sea
We walked from near where the Blue Mosque was to the Mar Mar sea. We got to see alot of the different neigborhoods in the Old City. There was an area to play basketball and futbol. It would have been nice to play a game with the locals if I had time. We had apple tea and some fish at near by cafe. It smelled a little like fish because we were so close to the fish market. We ate roasted chestnuts, cashews and other nuts from the street merchants. There were a couple street merchants that wanted to sell us stolen or fake brand name watches.
Yuvacik dam and Serindere valley.
Like the black sea region but is only 2 hours from Istanbul.Great for picnics and guaranteed peace and nature.Fresh river fish restaurants tucked away in odd places.Rhododendron everywhere,plus other wild flowers and animals, even tortoises.Great views.
Around an hour to the west of Istanbul is Izmit,take the turn off for Izmit otogar/Yalova.From the turnpike take 1st left signed,Yalova,keep going heading D130.Keep going and you will eventually see a Yuvacik sign.Head towards town but at the 1st roundabout turn right and keep going up,this takes you around the west of the town, follow signs Yuvacik Baraji.As you reach the Dam turn left and cross the dam and turn right,signed Camiduzu.Keep on when you reach Cataldere sign turn right side of it.From now on stop anywhere you fancy.We carried on through Camiduzu,turned for Serindere.4km up track is a Yellow Mosque,3km to Serindere to the right.Picnic area beside the river before you go up into Serindere village.It had been dry so we were able to hike along and through the river downstream for quite a way.