Istanbul, Turkey

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Okay, I am so far behind its not even funny.  We just got back from two weeks in Hungry and I haven't even posted about our trip to Istanbul back in October!  Sigh...full time job and blogging are not mixing well.
Anyway...I want to make sure I document all that we are doing while on this crazy ride, so I don't want to skimp on anything.
This first post (of 2) is just going to talk a bit about our trip and show photos from all around Istanbul.  The second post will have photos of the mosques, palaces, etc.

So we arrived late to Istanbul and the hubby's parents were waiting anxiously for us.  Grabbed our bags, found our driver and off we went.  Found that the apartment is up a super steep hill with 5 flights of stairs.  Oh yeah, my mother-in-law loved me for that one!
Got settled and headed out for a nice dinner near the Galata Tower.  

Over the next 9 days, we hit up every major tourist site in Istanbul.  Mosques, palaces, Spice and Grand Bazzars...we hit the ground running each day.  Did some serious walking, managed to use the public transit and just had an all around great time.

At one point we took a boat out to the Prince's Islands and took a horse drawn carriage ride...which was really fun and it's a beautiful place.  I imagine in the spring its just gorgeous.  Reminded me a little of New Orleans. 

We happened to be in town when they were celebrating their independence day and so there was a great spirit in everyone, fireworks, and flags everywhere!

The Cisterns were a favorite of everyone...there was just something cool and spooky about the undergrand water hole.  Loved the lighting...

We ate good food, had some nice wine...I even tried the local drink Raki...which was beyond disgusting...oh my.  We did find a great sushi restaurant!  (hey when you live in Saudi you get pretty excited about those things!)  :)

The city is huge, with both the European side and the Asian side...and there is such a mix of good parts and bad.

So, below are some shots from around Istanbul.  

The Cisterns

Princes Islands

Turkish celebration

Princes Islands

Spice Market

Spice Market

Grand Bazaar


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