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Istanbul - visit before you come to Trogir Croatia

Istanbul (formerly known as Constantinople) is well worth a visit.  Many airlines fly to Istanbul.  We thoroughly recommend you visit Istanbul before flying to Split and staying in The Venetian in Trogir, Croatia.  Stay in Istanbul for at least 4 nights.  Note the Australian Government's travel advice in May 2017 for Istanbul is to reconsider your need to travel.  We did not experience any activity which concerned us.  There are plenty of well armed police and there was some heightened security activity last week when the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visited the city.

Accommodation: Sirkeci Mansion is a great choice.  Excellent location, lovely rooms, very friendly and knowledgeable staff, and an average price of 165 AUD per night which includes a great breakfast, and a pick up from Ataturk Airport.  Book at www.sirkecimansion.com. The breakfast is worth a second mention - eggs, delicious cheese selections, Turkish sausage (sucuk), stewed apricots and figs, and honeycomb and yoghurt. Make sure you fit in a Turkish bath or Hamam offered by the hotel.

Food and drink: There are hundreds of restaurants in Istanbul. The food is delicious, and a mix of traditional Ottoman, Mediterranean, Balkan and Middle Eastern fare. Eggplant, cucumber, tomatoes, seafood including fish sandwiches by the Bosphorus, lamb (and more lamb) in various forms, and the odd goat.  Don't forget the pastries.  Huge shop windows are dedicated to showcasing the pastries - everything from baklava and rice puddings we all know so well to more exquisite creations of finely spun phyllo decorated with pistachios and sugared almonds.  Visit the spice market with mounds of dates and saffron, and so much Lokum and Turkish Delight.  Don't miss Kokoreç, being lamb or goat intestines wrapped around pieces of offal spiced up with chilli and parsley.  Then grilled. Delicious street food!


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