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Istanbul

Our journey starts in Istanbul - well to be precise it started at LAX (Los Angeles) where we boarded the Turkish Airlines flight for Istanbul. I was last in Istanbul alias Constantinople once known as the fabled city of Byzantium, in October. We had an overnight stop in the Port of Istanbul during the course of my Aegean and Adriatic Dance Cruise Odyssey and did the must-do tourist sights - Topkapi, the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia, as well as a morning cruise north on...

    I'm off on the first leg of my travels. Not too exotic as I am heading down to the OC to spend a few days looking after the grand-children  before taking off for Istanbul.

Thanks to Westjet, I can fly direct from YVR to SNA (John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana). That has made a huge difference to my visits to the OC - not having to go...

Before I left I wanted to get the geography of Istanbul a little clearer in my mind. I found it interesting once on the Alumni tour, that several people had not heard of the Golden Horn and there also seemed to be confusion about the European and Asian parts of Istanbul.

The map of modern day Istanbul shows the geographic structure of the area that made it so important as...

Before Istanbul became Constantinople, it was known as Byzantium. The town established  in 657 BC by Greek colonists from Megara, was named for Byzas, legendary king of Megara. Megara was an ancient Greek city state on the Northern shore of the Isthmus of Corinth. Legend has it that Byzas founded the town at the entrance to the Black Sea on the western (European) shore of the Bosphorus. In 330 AD it was renamed Constantinople for Roman Emperor Constantine, and in 1923 when the modern...

On cruise day 3 we arrived in Istanbul where the ship was docked overnight. Istanbul, which also has a fascinating history, is a divided city in that part of it lies in Europe, while part is in Asia Minor, separated by the Bosphorus.   Istanbul is the largest city in Europe, and as our guide told us, among the world’s most populated city within city limits with an estimated 11 million people. Moreover the actual population is probably even larger than that recorded by census, as...

 When circumstances result in reservations through different airlines, airport connections can be tricky with connection times either very tight, so you sit wondering how long it will take to retrieve your luggage and get it to the next check-in, or else layovers too long to be comfortable but not long enough to leave the airport and go do something fun. Travelling from Vancouver to LAX to connect with a 7:15 pm international flight on Turkish Airlines to Istanbul and...

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