Hello Istanbul

We've been thinking for a long time to make a trip to Istanbul. Many times while travelling to the East, we had a connecting flight through Istanbul. Fortunately or unfortunately, each time we had a relatively short stop, which prevented us to leave the airport and take a quick look at this interesting city. Therefore, as soon as the Photoclub Maribor got an interesting offer from a local travel agency for a long weekend in Istanbul, we immediately decided to take it and enjoy a long weekend there. The offer was limited to winter months, so we opted for one of the weekends in February. When the date of departure was coming closer, the weather forecast was getting worse and worse. The night before our flight up to a metre of new snow has been announced. Therefore we have booked an apartment near the Zagreb airport and headed there a day before the flight. We were just hoping that the flight next day would not be cancelled because of the snow. The driving to the airport/apartment itself has been anything but fun, since it already started to snow. The roads were covered with snow, but with a slow pace it was possible to make progress. Upon arrival at the apartment, the snowfall intensified even further vanishing our hopes for the flight. With a slightly bad mood we headed to bed. The next morning we woke up to a white winter scene. Rapid assessment revealed that there is significantly less snow than it was predicted — there was somewhere around 30 cm, so our hopes to get our flight came back alive. Upon arrival at the airport, it turned out that the flight was on schedule. From the passenger terminal, we watched the winter scenery and airport workers who were cleaning the airport and airplanes. After some waiting, our plane was ready to embark. And this is how our brief adventure in Istanbul began.

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Winter conditions at the airport.

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Boarding.

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Deicing of the wings.

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Already in Istanbul. Transport to the city center.

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The look.

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After arriving in Istanbul we just put our luggage in the hotel and went for a dinner in a traditional restaurant.

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Traditionally a lot of meat ...:)

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Many of the streets in the centre were beautifully decorated.

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The old town is full of small shops selling traditional products.

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Istanbul and Turkey has a lot of shops with sweets.

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Carefully stocked sweets store.

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We take the time to go for an evening tour of the Blue Mosque.

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The Interior is pretty impressive due to the size of the mosque.

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We decide that we're going to visit it again during the day.

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A look at the Haggia Sophia. At this time it was already closed.

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Look at a wonderful old coffee/pastry shop.

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Architectural details.

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A scene right out of a horror movie. :)

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Interesting street art.

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Some restaurants were at this late hour still full.

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And some a little less.

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Hand made leather products.

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Despite the late hour we went for a coffee in one of the more interesting bars.

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The ceiling was full with lamps.

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Back on the street. We do some more window shopping.

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Late in the evening on the way to our hotel we stop in front of the Constantine Tower.