Subject: Re: Istanbul and warm water
Hello Ann and fellow Ziners,

Istanbul is my favourite city in all the world (so far), there is so much to see and do. We stayed at a small boutique hotel called the Empress Zoe in Sultanhamet. The rooms are very small, and I mean very small but are quite charming with interesting textiles and ensuite bathrooms. Turks do bathrooms very well, as you would expect from the inventors of the Turkish towel. You can eat the delicious breakfast in the garden next door to an ancient Hamet or in the little diningroom. We had the largest room, it shared the third floor with a bar and lounge but we didn't find it kept us awake at night, not many people used it and they seemed to turn in early. If you are staying for more than a few days you may be able to persuade the American owner to book that room for you. There is no elevator, but someone will take your suitcase up and down. We never considered staying anywhere other than Sultanhamet, it is within walking distance of so much that you will want to see in the city. It is also convenient for trams and buses which are a great way to get around. Not too many people (carpet sellers excepted) speak English but the people are friendly and very helpful, so with the good will on both sides one can make oneself understood. We very much enjoyed the Whirling Dervish ceremony if you are there at the right time. The best place to see them is at the Mevlevi Monastery but this was only possible on the last Sunday of the month in 2002, if you are interested check it out as that may have changed. You would have to book ahead as it is a sellout. I wrote a longish trip report for the Zine, back in 2002, so check the archives for more information. (

You can also take a look at our website. The link below will take you to the Empress Zoe page and lead you to the rest of Istanbul. Sorry, we didn't go to the beach, but if you decide to go to Cappadocia, or would like more information, ask away!

Regards, I hope you like Istanbul as much as we did. Sue Waterloo Ontario