My next adventure: Valletta (Malta) – May 2024

Day 3 (Istanbul) – Galata Tower and Basilica Cistern

After a late night, one decided against the YHT option as there is so much more to explore in Istanbul. Saving the trek to the Istanbul Sapphire for tomorrow, it was decided to head to the Old Town and marvel at the infamous Galata Tower (which is currently closed for refurbishment) followed by a visit to the lesser known Basilica Cistern.

Although not planned, the tram network (especially T1) has been very useful in transporting us around the city centre due to it being 100% accessible. What one did know, however, was that a few funicular railways are in the city, one of which takes you up the rather steep hill located near the Galata Tower. Of course, one couldn’t resist taking a ride…

As per the above photos, level boarding has been achieved with both stations possessing ramps in the appropriate places.

The funicular is particularly useful for wheelchairs as the majority of the Old Town comprises of steep hills and good old cobblestones…not a great combination!

After a while of bumping around, we arrived at the Galata Tower which, as I say, is currently closed for refurbishment. When open, it does have a lift to the top but these views had to satisfy on this occasion…

The next stop was the Basilica Cistern, which, as described by Wikipedia, is an “underground Roman water source held up with 336 marble columns covering 9,800 sq. meters”. Now, we double checked its accessibility for evidence in case the staff tried it on as per yesterday. Disabled individuals can enter for FREE and the majority of the attraction is accessible bar a small step at the entrance. A stair lift has been installed to allow wheelchairs to ascend down to the water source…

Once at the bottom, you are free to explore at your leisure, it can be a little dark however!

Tomorrow is our last day in Istanbul, Turkey. As I mentioned, the primary aim is to navigate the metro system to the Istanbul Sapphire observations deck and, perhaps a wander through the ‘Urban Forest’.

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Day 4 (Istanbul) – Sapphire Tower and The Bosphorus Strait

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