Merhaba! (Hello!) And welcome to the ultimate crossroad in all the world! Straddling two continents at the intersection of the Silk Road and Bosphorus Straight, Istanbul is a delicious blend of Roman and Ottoman, East and West, traditional and modern, religious and secular. Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures of this enchanting metropolis, a perfect blend of cosmopolitan and old world charm. Let’s go!
Turkish Lira is the official currency, but Euros and American Dollars are also widely accepted.
Don’t drink the water!
The Blue Mosque, with its six minarets, is still an active house of prayer.
Bustling Istikial Street…
The enormous and ancient Basilica Cistern
The Column of Constantine
Hagia Sofia… first a church, then a mosque, now a museum.
Turkish Breakfast is quite an event, and not for those in a hurry.
Calling Turkish coffee BOLD is quite the understatement.
Hummus and pita bread with Turkish beer
Moussaka with Turkish red wine
THE place to get an awesome fresh fish sandwich
Seafood is a must… How about some stuffed mussels?
Delicious apple tea
Baklava, all you want!
Galata Bridge… Don’t forget your fishing pole!
Galata Bridge by night
Galata Tower by day
Galata Tower in the wee hours
View of the old town from Galata Tower…
The Grand Bazaar…
Ancient Turkish Bath and barber shop…
After a super-relaxing steam, scrub, and massage in the Hamam, I treated myself to a real haircut…
… courtesy of Elgin, my skilled and friendly barber.
The “take the long way home in order to run up the meter” taxi scam…
Whirling Dervishes, riveting and meditative… full of kinetic energy, yet quite dignified.
Smoking my very first hooka…
… while enjoying the music…
… and making new friends from Syria.