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Old 4 May 2004
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Gwynedd, Wales, UK
Posts: 252

I'm planning on going to Istanbul sometime this year, maybe in a couple of weeks, maybe in the autumn. I was there in 1969 (ok-so I'm old) and stayed at the Gulhane Cineb(?) Hotel. God knows why they chose to call it a hotel, it was just accommodation, nine steel bunks to a room and bare concrete floors, with people from all over Europe, Asia and Africa and the US (better leave that as just 'all over', perhaps) drifting through.
Can anybody tell me if it's still there? It was in the Sultan Ahmet district. You could see a mosque on the skyline, Santa Sofiya or the Blue Mosque, maybe, and on the other side (not close) was the Circeci(?) Station, and beyond that, the waterfront.
I've just seen it mentioned on Fred Reid's site, www.fredoneverything.net in his article on Istanbul, he was there in 1969 too, if you haven't seen his site, take a look, well worth a visit.

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Old 5 May 2004
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Kewaskum, WI USA
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I can't speak for the specific hotel you mentioned but the area that you're talking about is the backpacker hotel ghetto with tons of small, cheap hotels. There are a couple streets full of hotels just south of the Aya Sophia and Blue Mosque, between them and the Marmara. I would be willing to bet that the hotel still exists although the name may have changed and the ownership almost certainly did.

There are tons of hotels/hostels in the Sultanahmet area you should have no problem finding a bed but you might have to look around to find secure parking.
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Old 5 May 2004
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Location: Gwynedd, Wales, UK
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Great, this is just what I wanted. Actually, secure parking is always going to be a pretty serious issue, I am a bit worried about that.
What's the traffic like in Istanbul now- it was horrendous when I was there, I'd hate to come off my bike in that traffic. All the vehicles (Mercs and Peugeots made up 95percent of the cars) were battered to hell and nobody gave a shit about collecting a couple more dents.
Incidentally- can anybody give me some idea of how long it would take to get from the UK to Istanbul? I've had a look at the Iron Butt website and that's got a lot of sound advice regarding riding long distances. I hope to have the sense to enjoy the scenery along the way. I haven't looked up the route I took all those years ago, but I think we followed a main route from Paris, it might have been the E6 if that makes sense. Can anybody tell me where a spectacular gorge, somewhere in the old Yugoslavia, possibly South of Nis(?) might be on this road, the memory I have is of the road either cut into the side or tunnelled, and the sides were of white rock (chalk?) Any suggestions as to a better route, and worthwhile detours, anybody?
Many thanks
PS, Pantrybear; thanks again for the reply. It doesn't matter, really, but what sort of engineer? (A few people have given their occupation as engineer but they often don't say what kind, no offence)

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