Wonderful Istanbul Tour with Hall Family
Today we had wonderful tour with Hall Family. I picked them from Istanbul Port where Norwegian Jade docked. Since the family had 2 adults and 2 kids to give us more freedom and cost effective I offered them a guide only service.
After meeting them from the Port of Istanbul we took a cab and went to Sultanahmet district. (We paid 10 Turkish Liras to the cab). Our first stop was the Hipodrome, Saw the obelisk, Serpentine column. Continued to Blue Mosque and afterwards Church of Hagia Sophia. One of the recent movies Argo was scened in this magnificent building.
After the visit to the Church of Hagia Sophia we stopped at a pastry shop. Had a liiitle rest and sampled Simit (Circle Bread with sesame seeds) and enjoyed some Turkish Tea. Walked througn some old Ottoman Royal Family cemetery and visited Grand Bazaar. Walked through the colorful shops and maze streets of Grand Bazaar.
Continued through Mahmutpasa Street. Saw where the locals shop. Showed them some of the buildings scened in the last James Bond movie: Skyfall. Visited Spice Market. Stopped at one of my high school friends shop and tasted Turkish Delight. Walked around Spice Market saw the Ottoman pet shops that has been running over 400 years. Stopped and enjoyed Baklava with wallnuts.
Crossed over Galata Bridge. Saw the boats making fish sandwiches and fisherman catching sardines. Walked through the 19th century bank neigbourhood and Jewish residential area of Karakoy. Took pictures of the narrow streets and Genoise Tower of Galata.
Reached the crowded local shopping street of Istiklal. Stopped by the Church of St. Anthony. Sampled hot halva by Koska and had lunch in Pera Diner Cafe at Nevizade. Kids were tired but they did very well. Mr. Hall wanted to continue to the tour but wanted to drop the kids back to the ship to the kids club. We took a cab back to the ship and dropped the kids to the kids club and continued to our tour.
We walked to Kabatas and took a public ferry to Uskudar. Enjoyed a 15 minute cruise on the Bosphorus passing by Dolmabahce Palace. Walked in Uskudar Market and Antique stores. Sampled Sahlep (White Chocolate Taste Hot Drink with Cinnamon). Walked by the Maiden`s Tower which is one the symbols of Istanbul and scened in James Bond World is Not Enough Movie. Had great pictures of Bosphorus, Norwegian Jade and Maidens Tower. Finally we took a public boat back to Kabatas and walked bavk to the ship.
The Hall Family enjoyed the tour very much. By walking they saw much more than their fellow passengers and by getting a guide only service they paid much less than their fellow passengers.
If you would like me to do a smillar walking tour of Istanbul for you. I will be in Istanbul till April 21, 2013. My Fullday (8 Hours) Guide only charge is 100 Euro. Please click here to contact me.
Mr Hall`s tour review on tripadvisor:
by TransBalkan Tours is a fully licenced tour operator since 1963 and a member of TURSAB.
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