|Subject: Re: Turkey Questions|
Istanbul is just an hour and a half flight way from Tel Aviv so i have been there several times.
The princess islands is the place that the sultan used to park his harem and is a charming destination by boat and then a tour in horse and cart.
The former ciragan palace is now the ciragan palace kempinski hotel and is it is absolutely smashing just to stroll and to have a cup of coffee in one of the hotel cafes. it is not on your way to anywhere but i have always walked a very long walk to see it and then to cross the street to yildiz park. i always request a hotel brochure and price list and bring it back to show people where i DID NOT STAY!!
Dolmabace palace is also fun. don't miss the bathrooms!! i would make this sight your first stop of the day since it gets very busy and there are long, irritating lines. the same with topkapi palace. all of these places are on the water and are just beautiful.
I also took several day tours offered by the hotel. you might want to contact your hotel and see what day tours are offerred so you can take off running when you arrive. you might be suffering from jet lag and it is nice to have all this stuff organized.
There is also a wonderful ethnographic museum showing the interior of the homes of nomadic tribes. all of these are listed in any guide book. i am just reviewing my lonely planet one from 1993.
Bettina from Jerusalem