I was visiting Istanbul last weekend and took the opportunity to visit some of the TAR places.
Istanbul featured in episode 9 of season 7. This episode starts in India where the four teams are instructed to fly to Istanbul. There is a fair bit of airport drama where Rob is too clever for his own good. Basically his attempt to spread FUD caused the two other teams to research some more and actually find a better flight. So two teams had a two hour lead into Istanbul.
Once in Istanbul teams travel by light rail and streetcar to downtown Istanbul. Of course they have to show the filmed sequence in the wrong order (tram first then light rail) when in reality it is the other way around. This part of the trip takes about an hour.
All teams shown get off the tram at at Sirkeci and walk form there to the ferry (300m). It would have been closer to wait one more stop and get off at Eminönü which is right by the ferries. They then travel by boat across the Bosporus to Üsküdar. Here is a shot from the boat while we waited for it to cast off. Note the tower in the background.
The boat trip takes almost 20 minutes and gives you a nice view of Kizkulesi where the clue is located. Once in Üsküdar teams transferred to a smaller boat which took them to the island. We did not have time to visit it so you will have to settle for this picture I took from the boat.
After Kizkulesi teams had to go to Galata Kulesi, which is a tower on a hill in central Istanbul (you can see it in the first picture above). All teams first took the small boat to the main land (Asia side). From there three teams took a taxi while Rob & Amber took the boat back to Eminönü and then a taxi.
A tip to any tourists visiting the tower by foot. After crossing the Galata bridge there are signs showing the closest way, straight up the hill. But more interesting is to turn left after the bridge and walk through the fish market. Then after the fish market turn right and walk straight up the hill. You are just a couple of streets away from the main tourist route, but instead of shops geared for the tourist you are walking among lots small hardware shops/stalls. Some places sell a little of everything while other are more specialized in things like screws or electrical motors.
At the Galata tower two teams had real problems finding the clue. This is actually not all that surprising when you see the area. This picture shows the clue location:
Note that there is a wall between the cluebox location and the actual tower. The clue was not visible from any point at the base of the tower. Furthermore most taxis arrive at the other side of the tower. Here is another shot.
The clue at Galata is a detour clue. One side of the the detour was in the Binbirdirek cistern. Unfortunately this was closed when we tried to visit it:(
The other detour option was to weigh people at the square in front of Yeni Cami. This is located alomst just across the road from where the first boat trip started. Rob and Amber made their way here on foot while the others rode taxis. I think both modes of transportation should have taken about the same amount of time. It is fairly close and the roads are steep and narrow. A taxi also has the added risk of getting stuck behind another car unloading or waiting for somebody.
We also visited this square, although a little later in the day. And as you can see it is bustling with life.
Given the relative position of the locations it could have been possible for the last two teams to spot any of the first two teams performing the detour while they were heading out on the ferry.
The square is well worth a visit. Next to it you can find the pet market and the spice bazaar.
We did not see any scales in the square. But every here and there in the city we found small kids with scales offering to weight people for money. So the producers were not pulling our legs with this task.
After the detour teams travel to Rumeli Hisarı also know as the Europe Fortress. This is located about 10 miles further north along the Bosporus. We did not have time to visit it buts instead opted for some more central sights and a Turkish Hamam.