Istanbul stopover

The Blue Mosque

We stopped for a day in Istanbul on our way back from Nepal.

What a contrast, wide dual carriageways lined with flower beds and central reservations crowded with daffodils and tulips.

The overall impression was of a modern and spectacularly clean city.

We were booked into the Amiral Palace Hotel, a stones throw from the Blue Mosque.  This is a really nice “boutique” hotel and our only reservation was the size of the room.  For an overnight, or possibly a couple of nights it was quite adequate but if one has a couple of cases and a few changes of clothes it is a bit tight.  The staff were friendly and helpful and duty manager suggested that, as we were only in the city for one night we must take a Bosporus Dinner cruise.

After a stroll around the local souk we took a couple of hours nap and were then picked up by the minibus to take us to the jetty.

On arrival we were a little apprehensive as to how the evening would progress as we we were shown to a table the occupants of which were at least 30 years our junior.  We need not have worried, there were three Algerians, three Moroccans, a couple of Indians and a lone Japanese/American lass, all of whom immediately made us welcome.

The dinner was very good with a choice of local fish or chicken as the main course and there were a couple of large glasses of wine included.

The cabaret also turned out to be quite a class act with a belly dancer providing the main turn.

There was not too much commentary on the passing sights but nobody really noticed. Altogether a very pleasant evening.

The next morning we walked up to the Blue Mosque an around the square before our taxi arrived to take us back to the Airport.

We will be back I’m sure.

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