A group of 6 had 1-1/2 days off a cruise ship, and we wanted to see as much as possible in this short time. Arif made that happen! He met us early to help beat the crowds to the Topkapi Palace, and we really enjoyed traveling around Istanbul "like a local". We used the train, ferries, and even a local bus which Arif paid for and made sure we all kept together. Arif got us to the historical sites and gave us informative overviews. The Hagia Sofia was the highlight. We had lunch at a local restaurant, late afternoon refreshments in a local place we would have never found, hot tea as we sat along the river and watched the sunset over the city, and a late fish dinner sitting at a sidewalk table with hundreds of people with a band playing music for us. All were excellent, and we enjoyed that Arif ate with us so we could learn more about Turkey. We didn't get back to the cruise ship until after 11 pm. The next morning we visited the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market and were glad to have Arif so we didn't waste anytime getting lost. 5 star visit in Istanbul!!
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