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Dubai, United Arab Emirates to Melbourne, Australia

Back home now. Flight took roughly 16 to 17 hours. Thought I'd do a last post to close off the diary but don't know what to put.

Had a good time overall.

Posted by cannon_fodder 03:37 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Quick Visit to Dubai

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Woke up late due to the late arrival. Had a quick walk around the local area on getting up.

Had enough time to take the train into the main part of the city to have a look.

Stopped at a small museum on Arab Emirate life. It was a small museum but was cleverly built. It was converted from an old pearl merchant's house. So you are walking around an actual rich person's house while there are descriptions for the function of all rooms and objects.

Had tea at a really good restaurant and am now completely stuffed. Took the train back to the hotel afterwards as we have a really early flight tomorrow.

Posted by cannon_fodder 03:34 Archived in United Arab Emirates Comments (0)

Transit

Istanbul, Turkey to Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Today we saw both the main mosques of Istanbul, the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia Mosque. Hagia Sophia had been converted into a museum though, so we didn't need to take our shoes off or anything. Both were fantastic.

We then went to the Archaeological Museum for as long as our flight would allow, then we took the quick flight to Dubai. The Archaeological Museum was in three different buildings, so seemed small at first until you go into the other buildings.

We reached the Dubai hotel at about 3:30am local time, but it is about 1:30am Istanbul time. So very tired right now as I type this, although I cannot upload anyway since there is no free internet. (Edit: currently uploading after getting back to Australia).

Posted by cannon_fodder 03:25 Archived in United Arab Emirates Comments (0)

Istanbul not Constantinople

Istanbul, Turkey

There are a lot of seagulls in Istanbul, or at least the area we are staying in. It sounds like we are at a sea dock sometimes. Not sure if they are a slightly different species of seagull than we have, but when they start calling, their initial sounds sometimes make me think a girl nearby is getting mugged.

We spent most of the day in the Topkapı Palace, which is the palace of the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire. Including in our sights was the harem, which was beautifully decorated, and the treasury.

TopkapiPalaceGate.jpg

This is one of the gates into the palace, though I'm not exactly sure as things were a little muddled getting there.

Afterwards we went to the Basilica Cistern, which is an underground cistern for supplying water to the city during a siege. Stone walkways have been built to allow people to walk around the columns. There is some water still in there with fish inside.

BasilicaCistern.jpg

Amongst the columns are some Medusa's heads. I'm guessing a temples and/or other ruins were cannibalised to construct the cistern, rather than being decoration, since the Medusa's heads are either upside down or on their side and not all the columns in the cistern are the same shape.

Unfortunately we fly out tomorrow, but it is an evening flight so hopefully we will see some of the mosques tomorrow before leaving.

Posted by cannon_fodder 12:56 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

Transit

Santorini, Greece to Istanbul, Turkey

This is a log spanning two days. The first day we weren't able to get a plane out of Santorini and the weather is too bad to allow the ferries to run.

With everything closing early on the low season, we only had time to really see one thing. We decided on an archaeological museum but weren't able to find it.

I took another look around the city though, taking some good photos along the corridor running along the edge of the town facing the sea. Had some more local food in order to enjoy the last of it before we headed off the next day.

We booked the plane tickets to Athens for the next day, so the next morning was just going to the airport. The hotel owner offered to drive us there. At the airport, we took another flight to get to Istanbul.

I've been avoiding taking planes but there is no other way without wasting anymore time better spent seeing Istanbul. We would have needed to take the shot plane trip to Athens anyway since the ferries were still cancelled the day we flew out.

The irritating thing is that we were almost a stone's throw from Turkey at the previous two islands.

It was about 9:30pm on reaching the hotel in Istanbul, the time for the plane to Istanbul being quite a long time after our arrival. If our arrival was a half hour earlier, we would have just gone through to the next flight, but you can't win them all.

From the hotel, there is a really good view of the Blue Mosque from the roof. So I've seen that at night and it already looks impressive. Other than that it has just been the travel from the airport that I've seen of the city, and that is never impressive no matter what major city you are in. But so far it seems the city is going to be really good.

Posted by cannon_fodder 12:07 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

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