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Istanbul romantic getaways links Europe and Asia

February 9, 2013 5:21 pmViews: 283

Historic sites visited in Istanbul romantic getaways.
Istanbul romantic getaways links Europe and Asia

Istanbul romantic getaways showcases the Blue Mosque built in 1609.

Other attractions are the Grand Bazaar, Topkapi Palace and the Bagdat Pavilion. Rumeli Hisari Castle and the Ottoman Hotel.

Istanbul is the city that links Europe and Asia. The fabulous capitol of the Ottoman Sultans. The heart of an empire that stretched from the gates of Vienna to the Persian Gulf.

Honeymooners will enjoy exploring Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar and its spice market. Historical places and taking a ferry trip up the Bosporus.

The historical highlight is the Blue Mosque pictured above. Its six minarets built in 1609 is free to walk through.

Tourists named it the Blue Mosque because of the blue Kutaya tiles covering the interior. You’ll note the traditional rugs on the floor. The mihrab niche on the wall gives direction for prayers towards Mecca. The mimbar or staircase to the right that serves as a pulpit. The courtyard is large. The dome and thin minarets are typically Turkish rather than Persian.

Across from the Blue Mosque is St. Sofia nestled amid pretty gardens. Founded by Justinian in 537 as a church it was later converted into a mosque. It is now a restored museum.

Istanbul romantic getaways links Europe and Asia

Beside the Blue Mosque is the Hippodrome. A chariot-racing track built in 203 following a model of the Circus Maximus in Rome. One of the sultans filled in the Hippodrome but you will see an obelisk and the serpentine column on the grassy surface. 

Istanbul romantic getaways links Europe and Asia. Istanbul Palace.Nearby is the Topkapi Palace, pictured right. It was once the residential, administrative and political seat of the empire of the Ottoman sultans. This was from the 15th century to the mid-19th century.

Tours are available to see the imperial council hall. The queen mothers’ room and entertainment rooms. The rooms are beautifully decorated with the type of furniture and couches of the day.

One of the buildings displays porcelain. Some were gifts. Some were designed to suit Islamic tastes. Some have precious sockets inlaid in gold.

The Bagdat Pavilion outdoor courtyard offers a view of Istanbul and the water craft below.
Istanbul romantic getaways links Europe and Asia. Istanbul Grand Bazaar.The Grand Bazaar has more than 3,600 shops. It is worth a trip to see it if just to browse. It is closed on Sundays.

If you follow the back streets to the spice market you will come across small local mosques and shops. These side streets add to the atmosphere.

Tours can be taken from Istanbul up the Bosporus to the Rumeli Hisari Castle built by the Ottomans in 1452. The area includes interesting summer residences to be seen from the tour boat.

Good food is served at the Pudding Shop. It is a clean self-service restaurant on the north side of Sultan Ahmet Square on the tram line near the Blue Mosque.

If you follow the tram line down the hill past St. Sofia you will come to the Galata Bridge. From here you will notice off in the distance Taxim Square with its modern towers.

Romantic Getaways Istanbul links Europe and Asia

IRWIN’S TIPS.

For tours visit www.trekescapes.com.

The Ottoman Hotel Imperial visit www.ottomanhotelimperial.com.

There is a visa fee payable at the Istanbul airport to enter.

Ask your travel agent for the customs guidelines to secure your passport. Your airline ticket, cash and valuable items.

The currency is called Turkish Lira. Check the exchange currency before you go. Visit www.tourismturkeysite.com.

Irwin Patterson is a photojournalist, travelogue slide show presenter/speaker in schools, libraries, and seniors’ residences. He is a former travelogue television host-producer. He may be reached by e-mail at [email protected].

Romantic Getaways | Istanbul romantic getaways links Europe and Asia.

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