Istanbul, Turkey

So what do you do when there’s a Train Driver’s strike in Germany after returning to Europe from the World Travel Market in London? Open your laptop and book a flight to Istanbul. I’ve not ever seen Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof so empty. However, I figure that’s one of the best things about a Eurail Pass, you’re not locked into any particular itinerary. I was able to continue and plan my journey – but in reverse to my original intentions.

Off to Istanbul from Frankfurt Flughafen with Onur Air. Not recommended for tall people as there was nowhere to put my legs and those of you who know me I am a tad bit tall. I had to be moved as I was squashed in by a big bloke in front and another behind, thankfully to the exit row whereby you’d normally pay for the privilege. This is a no-frills carrier – pay for meals and drinks.

For Australians heading to Turkey the Visa on Arrival (and not collected on your airline ticket) is a cool 50 Euro and can only be paid in cash as no credit card facilities available for processing. Other currencies accepted – British Pound or US Dollars to the equivalent. Other Nationalities reading this, check with your own country’s entry requirements.

Very happy to be back in Istanbul and visiting the Sultan Ahmed Mosque and more affectionately known as the Blue Mosque as it was a few minutes walk from where I stayed.

Stunning architecture, the interior of the mosque is lined with more than 20,000 handmade İznik style ceramic tiles, it was built from 1609 to 1616 during the rule of Ahmed I. The Mosque has one main dome, six minarets and eight secondary domes. The design is the culmination of two centuries of Ottoman mosque development.


Even though you must remove your shoes before entering, there’s still plenty of cleaning to be done. Ladies are required to wear a scarf over their heads and cover shoulders.

Walking around the Sultanahmet neighbourhood.

Sharpening scissors the good old-fashioned way.

Looking towards the Bosphorus Sea.

Heading over the Bosphorus Bridge before a cruise.




Superb fishing I’d imagine.



Heading back after a full day out sightseeing.

And back at my favourite little café across the road from my hotel, all of this for about A$6.00