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The gateway to the Orient, the city of myth, lying astride Europe and Asia, Istanbul is fascinating. On the agenda: Go shopping at the Grand Bazaar and the spice market, visit the Blue Mosque with its six minarets that made Mecca green with envy, a stop by the magnificient Saint Sophia, a byzantine basilica converted into a mosque, and a tour of the impressive Topkapi, the palace-museum of the Sultans. Also, push open the door of the Holy Saviour in Chora, a Roman basilica adorned with lovely Byzantine mosaics, plan a caïque ride on the Bosphore to see the former Byzantium and the Yalees (half-timber houses), bordering the shores of the river. If you have time, take a cruise to the Prince Islands, scattered across the Marmara Sea.
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