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Took the RS Istanbul tour a number of years ago. Guide was Mert Tanner. Great guide, great trip.
Istanbul is a fabulous city to explore. Fascinating history.
I’d love to return and spend more time in Turkey to visit archeological sites such as Gobekli Tepe and Catalhoyuk. I was fascinated by Istanbul. The older city neighborhoods and the modern shopping streets. An intriguing mix of centuries old architecture and ultra modern buildings.
In Istanbul be aware you’ll see countless stray cats.
Hearing your first call to prayer will be memorable.
Julie remember to take a scarf to cover your head to enter a mosque. Men and woman who wear shorts will be denied entry into any mosque. Same issue with sleeveless blouses and tank tops.
Respect the culture, show decorum.
Lastly, the Hagia Sophia is one of the most impressive structures I’ve been privileged to see in over 50 years of travel. Utterly astonishing..
Is it a romantic city? I thought so because it’s so different for any other European city I’ve explored.
Make note some sales people can be pushy. Simply look them in the eye, utter a strong “ No,” and move away. Being a couple will make any encounters like this easier. As a female who prefers to meander solo I quickly learned not to smile and be forceful in my reply.
The Gulhane Park near the Topaki Palace is a pleasant spot to walk about. You can also sit and people watch. On one stroll in the park discovered 5k marathoners crossing the finish line. Quite a pleasant surprise.
Lastly stay updated on the country’s political situation. April 2022 is months away but it’s always smart to stay informed about the country you want to visit.
I do know reading the RS guidebook was a focal point before I took the tour. Provided practical intel that helped me make decisions while I was there.
Happy 2022 Anniversary!