Merhaba! (Hello!) 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!
The “take the long way home in order to run up the meter” taxi scam… Taksi! … and making new friends from Syria. Street Scenes… Bustling Istikial Street… Baklava, all you want! … while enjoying the music… Istanbul Marathon Turkish Lira is the official currency, but Euros and American Dollars are also widely accepted. Smoking my very first hooka… … courtesy of Elgin, my skilled and friendly barber. After a super-relaxing steam, scrub, and massage in the Hamam, I treated myself to a real haircut… Hagia Sofia… first a church, then a mosque, now a museum. Whirling Dervishes, riveting and meditative… full of kinetic energy, yet quite dignified. The Grand Bazaar… Galata Tower by day Galata Bridge… Don’t forget your fishing pole! Calling Turkish coffee BOLD is quite the understatement. Delicious apple tea Vegetable Stew Seafood is a must… How about some stuffed mussels? Moussaka with Turkish red wine Hummus and pita bread with Turkish beer Turkish Breakfast is quite an event, and not for those in a hurry. THE place to get an awesome fresh fish sandwich Don’t drink the water! The Column of Constantine The enormous and ancient Basilica Cistern Ancient Turkish Bath and barber shop… Galata Tower in the wee hours Galata Bridge by night View of the old town from Galata Tower… The Blue Mosque, with its six minarets, is still an active house of prayer.