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MERLINANDME's Photo MERLINANDME Posts: 18,767
4/24/12 9:11 A

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I am so happy for you!

"Start from where you are." ~ Elle, AnAuthor

"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish. "~ John Quincy Adams


If you focus on results, you won't see change. If you focus on change, you will see results.


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ATRANSFORMATION's Photo ATRANSFORMATION Posts: 9,238
4/24/12 4:50 A

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Holiday Inn was just fine. They upgraded us to a suite, and the breakfast was great...We used the tram without any problem, and it was pretty easy to get to the grand bazaar, spice market, etc.

We LOVED the entire trip. Turkey is an amazing country. Absolutely amazing.

We did bring home a chandellier for the entry hall...each of the nine globes is a different color and/or pattern. It is lovely....

~~~Kathy~~~

Scales lie. Pants don't lie.
~~~

If the only prayer you ever say is "thank you" that shall suffice. ~~~~~~ Meister Eckhart


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JANET0909 SparkPoints: (438)
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3/11/12 10:04 P

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Sorry to be so late in responding about your hotel change in Istanbul. As you say, it is a nice hotel but the location is not one I would recommend. Although there is easy access to the tram system, it is often very busy and quite crowded. Try to plan your days carefully so you don't need to return to the hotel until the end of your sightseeing day. I hope you enjoy your visit. It is an exciting city!

ATRANSFORMATION's Photo ATRANSFORMATION Posts: 9,238
3/3/12 1:55 P

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I just got word that the tour company switched hotels and we will be staying at the Holiday Inn Istanbul City. The location is not quite as central, but evidently there is a train stop right across the street, so at least getting around will be a little easier. And it will save us taxi fare. They negotiated a deal for us (we were paying only $109 including taxes and breakfast) so we could stay there for the same price so we will spend all 4 nights there...instead of staying at the Carlton and then the Celal Aga Konagi Hotel like we'd planned.

Looks clean. Has decent reviews. I am sure it will be fine. Holiday Inn. Not my favorite chain, but it works. As long as there is a working toilet and a shower in the room, someone who can speak Engllish at the desk, and it is free of bed bugs, we'll be fine.

I'd love to hear your take on it anyway.

~~~Kathy~~~

Scales lie. Pants don't lie.
~~~

If the only prayer you ever say is "thank you" that shall suffice. ~~~~~~ Meister Eckhart


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JANET0909 SparkPoints: (438)
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3/2/12 10:51 P

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I have a travel agency specializing in travel to turkey with an office in Istanbul. let me know if I can be of help. we know a lot of the hotels.

ATRANSFORMATION's Photo ATRANSFORMATION Posts: 9,238
2/12/12 12:47 A

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We decided to stay at the Carlton Hotel for the one night we come in before our tour. Will let you know how it is when we get back in April.

Starting to get excited about our upcoming trip!

~~~Kathy~~~

Scales lie. Pants don't lie.
~~~

If the only prayer you ever say is "thank you" that shall suffice. ~~~~~~ Meister Eckhart


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FLOPPYRETURNS's Photo FLOPPYRETURNS SparkPoints: (11,432)
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2/11/12 9:43 P

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Oh, I just saw the other thread about Istanbul a little further down this forum. Great tips, thank you, everyone!

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FLOPPYRETURNS's Photo FLOPPYRETURNS SparkPoints: (11,432)
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2/11/12 9:40 P

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I am glad I found this thread. I will be traveling to Istanbul in July for a friend's wedding. I am sure I can get some recommendations from her about places to stay, but if not I will definitely keep the ideas from here in mind. How about things to see? I plan to stay in Istanbul a few days after the wedding to explore the city.

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ATRANSFORMATION's Photo ATRANSFORMATION Posts: 9,238
11/19/11 1:54 A

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We are staying at the Hotel Celal Aga Konagi as part of our tour, but are coming in early and staying at the Hotel Linda, just about a block away. Near the university and there are a lot of hotels in the area, many of them quite expensive so I figure we did ok finding the one we did for a very reasonable price. Good ratings on Tripadvisor. But the only way we will really know is after the fact!

~~~Kathy~~~

Scales lie. Pants don't lie.
~~~

If the only prayer you ever say is "thank you" that shall suffice. ~~~~~~ Meister Eckhart


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MERLINANDME's Photo MERLINANDME Posts: 18,767
11/18/11 9:23 P

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I stayed at the Conrad. It is quite pricey and out of the center. But it is a very nice hotel. I would stay there again. Istanbul is a splendid city!

"Start from where you are." ~ Elle, AnAuthor

"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish. "~ John Quincy Adams


If you focus on results, you won't see change. If you focus on change, you will see results.


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HOLISTICDETOXER's Photo HOLISTICDETOXER SparkPoints: (32,314)
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11/18/11 12:21 A

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I highly recommend Metropolis Hostel. It's a really good location (close to the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, public transit, restaurants, etc.), the staff are very helpful, it's super-clean, it's affordable, and it's very fun. They have a great rooftop patio where you can have breakfast and look out over the sea, and they often have rooftop barbecues with belly dancers, and then take the guests out on a pub crawl. I also really like that the family that owns the hostel has a restaurant a block or two away, so you can get great service there OR they can just call the restaurant and have them bring you the food, so you can eat it on the rooftop at sunset (gorgeous!). And the free breakfast is really good too. There are small dorms, so you and your friend could get a room with just two other people WITH an attached bathroom, or you could stay in a bigger dorm, or you could get a private double room. Really- I can't recommend it enough!

I didn't have to pay for a tourist visa as I'm an EU citizen, but I noticed it was the equivalent of about $60 US for Canadians, so it might be similar for Americans.

Stats: Female, 5'4", 28 years old.

Goal: From 152 (07/24/2011) to 125 by December, 2011. DONE! December 4th weighed in at 124. In 2012 I've been maintaining around 122, which is a thirty pound loss. My BMI has gone from 26.1 to 20.9 since following the Spark plan!

* * I'm looking for Spark Friends - add me! * *


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ATRANSFORMATION's Photo ATRANSFORMATION Posts: 9,238
11/16/11 1:36 A

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We're going in March next year. And VERY excited. It is my understanding that you pay $20 once you are there for the visa.

IKINSPELGUD - Did you enjoy the trip? We're doing a 2 week tour.

~~~Kathy~~~

Scales lie. Pants don't lie.
~~~

If the only prayer you ever say is "thank you" that shall suffice. ~~~~~~ Meister Eckhart


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IKINSPELGUD's Photo IKINSPELGUD Posts: 148
5/1/11 2:31 P

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Thanks for the reply. I just got back from Turkey on Friday. It's 15, if you're paying in euros.

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LSDALOIA's Photo LSDALOIA SparkPoints: (87,161)
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5/1/11 2:27 P

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Howdy!

We were just in Turkey in February. You pay a US $20 entry fee at the airport before you go through immigration.



What you eat in private you wear in public.

You are what you eat!


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TODDERICKV's Photo TODDERICKV Posts: 6,524
1/26/11 2:34 P

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I can't remember if there was a visa or not, if there was one, I definitely got it there because I did not send for one in advance. I went there with a tour group and spent over three weeks in Turkey. I know that I spent some time there before the tour and a few days after the tour in Istanbul. I loved the city, it is beautiful, vibrant, and the people love to have tourist come. The farther east you go, the less friendly the people are but in Turkey, it is a wonderful city with lots of historic places. I stayed in hotels while I was there, but I bet you could find some cheap places. Have you ever been on Lonely Planet website? They have forums called the Thorn Tree that has tons of valuable information from seasoned travelers.

What doesn''t kill you makes you stronger.


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IKINSPELGUD's Photo IKINSPELGUD Posts: 148
1/26/11 2:18 P

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My friend and I plan on going to Istanbul in April. Does anyone have any recommendations on where to stay, places to visit? We're looking for a cheap place--hostels preferred, since we're budget travelers and students.

Also, is it true that you pay for a tourist visa at the port of entry? If so, how much is it for US citizens?

Happy travels! :-)


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