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Photo: S Haugnes - Palace Istanbul

Istanbul in October 2011

Text: Siw Haugnes
Photo: Siw Haugnes and Arild Burud
Note: Photos may be used if identified. Photos with persons may not be used.

(As usual, most of the photos are clickable.)

Dear Mum became 70 this winter. What she wanted most was a short trip with her loved ones. Thats me, husband, children, brother, sis-in-law and more. We didn't hesitate to say, Hey, that's a good idea.

But where to? Well, there are a few places to choose from:
    Paris, Andalusia, Corsica, Rome...

She found the places she had been to and got to know uninteresting this time, like The British Isles, Prague, Stockholm, Gibraltar...

Photo: A Burud - departure from Oslo to Istanbul
Photo: S Haugnes - dinner 1st day

Photo above: We left early and felt foggy.
Photo left: A most wanted dinner (1st day).

We settled for Istanbul in October 2011. Temperature (perfect), culture (Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Agia Sophia etc.), costs, time on travel and the fact that most of us were new to Istanbul, weighed a lot.

Wednesday October 5. all ten of us came to the airport early in the morning. Too early, if you look at the photo above. Some of us slept on the plane, enough that what we wanted most after arriving, was to take a look around and get us something to eat.

Photo: A Burud - Basilisca cistern Photo: S Haugnes - Hamam Photo: A Burud - dinner for 2 Cats in Hagia Sophia

What Mum wanted to do was the same as the rest of us - and a bit too much for three whole and two half days:

Photo: S Haugnes - The Orient Express stWe agreed that we did what we wanted and used what time we wanted. No rush!

We could join and split and eat and relax and enjoy our time when we needed and wanted to.

The point was to have a good time in Istanbul.

Thursday we walked to The Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern and had lunch. Some wanted bazaar/market while some wanted to the Orient Express (right), so we did.

Photo: S Haugnes - platform
Photo: S Haugnes - coffee set
Photo: S Haugnes - view from Asia

The first night we (Dimos) noticed that the hotel had a pool table. Of course he and the younger boys had to try a few frames. Every night.

Friday we wanted to go to Asia by boat and bus, and planned for Turkish bath (hamam) afterwards.

I most certainly enjoyed to take the bus from the harbour to the top. It was full of people, pupils, old and young grownups, talking and laughter.

An observant man tried to get one of the girls to act as our guide at the top. Nice of him to think like that.

The view was lovely, but the mist... It ruined most of the pictures, see one to the right.

Only six of us went to Cemberlitas Hamam and was bathed, scrubbed and got a massage. That was lovely.

Photo: S Haugnes - at Bosporos to Asia

Friday night Air Baltic told us they had canceled our plane from Riga to Oslo Sunday night. They had a few suggestions to solve the problem.

By the time the ten of us had agreed on what to do, many of the other passengers had changed their plans. Air Baltic had found a substitute plane, smaller, but there was room for us. I would have loved one more day in Istanbul.

Saturday morning I spent at the hotel's roof, taking pictures of the view. The rest of the day we relaxed before celebrating Mum once more. The mid-picture under was taken during that dinner.

Sunday was rainy and we were departing. Some walked - in the rain - to Agia Sophia, became VERY wet, got to see the former church and mosque, now a museum, and to see graffitties by Halvdan, the viking.

 Photo: A Burud - Halvdan Photo: NN - Everybody celebratingPhoto: A Burud - airplane home

Added October 23. 2011