Post by madamtrashheap on Nov 21, 2010 8:29:57 GMT -5
WT, I'm excited for you that you're going to Istanbul - what a great city! You're right, the configuration of the city is hard to wrap your head around - I've been there 3 times and I still have to pull out a map in some areas.
I'm guessing that most of what you want to see is on the Sultanahmet side (Aga Sofia, Blue Mosque, Covered/Grand Bazaar, Egyptian/Spice Market, Topkapi, etc) so choosing the Metropolis Hostel or Sultan Hostel will give you walking access (up a hill, but not too steep) to these sights. Staying on this side, as I'm sure you've found, more expensive than staying across the Bosphorus, but for convenience you can't beat it. And you're good at spotting the less-authentic restaurants and shops, so the area will be fine for you. From what I know (heard, not stayed) the Metropolis might suit you better than the Sultan. As for the Agora, I haven't heard anything about it but it's in a great location and looks lovely.
I'm sure you're already aware, but Istanbul can get very cold in Winter, so rug up and expect snow! Hmm, just like Canada! Hope this helps, again let me know if you need any further information on sights, baths, apple tea, etc.
Perhaps "exotic" wasn't the right word to describe travels in South America. It's a bit more adventurous and daring than I'm used to. One of these days I might try venturing to that part of the world, as Machu Picchu looks like a great photographic site.
It will be interesting to hear of your experiences in Turkey when you return.
You have to have a dream so you can get up in the morning.