Tuesday, April 27th: Our two and a half hour flight from Tehran arrived at approximately 9am in the morning at Istanbul's Ataturk airport for a 12-hour transit to catch the next Turkish Airlines flight to Tashkent later in the evening. The airlines has special program for every transit passengers with more than 8 hours to choose for a free accommodation at any nearby designated hotels, or joining in a half-day guided tour of the city. We opted for the latter.
Although we arrived on time, somehow we missed the earlier group and had to wait until almost noon to begin our tour. Most of our program was only confined to a visit to one of the oldest and most beautiful towers in Istanbul on the European side of the city and the adjoining Istiklal street shopping precinct. Well, it was worth the time considering we only had around six hours before returning back to the terminal. Best of all, we also had the opportunity to befriend a young and charming tour guide who eversince became one of our best of acquaintances and confidant...
According to local history, the Galata Tower was built in 528 during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Justinianus. Used by the Genoese in the 13th century, and later captured by the Turks in 1453, the tower is about 61 meters high from the ground. You could enjoy a wonderful panoramic view and scenery of the Bosphorus and the city.
and breakfast at Starbucks
our tour guide and team
anglers along the Galata bridge
new Galata bridge
the tower from one of the alleys
bird's eyes view of the city
the streets below...
view of the Golden Horn...
and part of the Bosphorus