Friday 20 April 2012 by Stuart Baines. No comments
Battlefield Tours, Simpson Prize 2012

Today was another fantastic day in Istanbul. Walking the cobbled streets of this ancient city we found amazing mixes of the old and news at each new turn. Our Turkish guide, Ozgur, has impressed me once again this year and managed to find more beauty and more facinating stories in this city than last year.

The sights and sounds today amazed everyone as we walked through the old city on the Golden Horn in what started as a rainy day but turned as we broke for lunch and baked us in glorious sun shine and blue sky's for the first time since we have arrived. Today we got to see some of the classic, and some of my favourite, sights of the city. Starting with a tour of Topkapi palace, Blue Mosque, the hippodrome and the Basillica Cistern. Each one of these places are so different but all tell a story of life in this city, life in antiquity and life now. I will let Emily tell you about it from her perspective.

Stu

G'day folks,

So we started day three of with a wonderful stroll through Topkapi Palace, I found the palace absolutely astonishing, beautiful grounds all round and an amazing surrounding view!! Topkapi Palace shares with us many of its past stories through interesting exhibitions and rare artifacts!! I found the Palace so interesting and really enjoyed the extra time we were given to explore!

As Stu said earlier the weather wasn't the most pleasant, infact it was rather freezing! Luckily enough after our absolutely delicious lunch the sun decided to shine and bought with it a little bit of heat! I really appreciated this.

If there is ever a sight to see it would have to be the Blue Mosque! I am all for trying new things and decided it would be great to wear a head scarf. Entering the Mosque I was absolutely speechless it was covered head to toe in the most beautiful mosaics and paintings. It was how ever disappointing but only because my camera simply would not do justice to how beautiful the Mosque was!

After the Blue Mosque we took a stroll down the hippodrome which I found really interesting that so many years ago this exact strip was used as a 'race track'. As we continued walking I often found myself amazed by the shear beauty of the streets, Istanbul is such a picturesque city and my camera is most defiantly loving it!!

Our final destination for today was the Basillica Cistern. Absolutely amazing if I might say so myself! Who would of thought that a thousand years later in 2012 it would become such a tourist attraction? But I can guarantee it is worth looking!!

I really should be going now as much as I would love to stay and write, Stu is falling asleep here!!
Good bye, fair well, guele guele!!!

Emily