A Glimpse of Istanbul

So Alex and I spent eight days in Istanbul and honestly I could have stayed there for at least another week.  The city is a vibrant and fast paced and has so much history within its walls.  I love Istanbul for its history but also for its present culture.  Its an amazing city and has so much to offer from the Grand Bazaar and the Hagia Sophia to the traditional Turkish Baths and the Basilica Cistern.  I know the term a “blend of East and West” is cliche but if you are going to use it, it better be used to describe Istanbul.  It was the first Christian capitol in the West and then that capitol fell in 1453 to the Ottoman Turks and became the Muslim capitol in Europe.  You can see so much of both of these two influences all over the city.  I definitely suggest that whatever you do, go to Istanbul.  You will not regret it, I promise.

The Theodosian Walls-which withstood siege until the Turks blasted it apart with cannons in 1453
The Theodosian Walls-which withstood siege from 408 until the Turks blasted it apart with cannons in 1453
Entrance to Topkapi Palace-the Turkish Palace situated along the ancient Theodosian Walls
Entrance to Topkapi Palace-the Turkish Palace situated along the ancient Theodosian Walls
The Golden Topkapi Palace
The Golden Topkapi Palace
The Harem inside Topkapi Palace
The Harem inside Topkapi Palace
One of the several kittens that wander the capitol-this one is taking in the sun in front of the Blue Mosque
One of the several kittens that wander the capitol-this one is taking in the sun in front of the Blue Mosque
The Basilica Cistern-an underground chamber held up by thousands of Roman Collumns and was used to hold the water for the ancient city
The Basilica Cistern-an underground chamber held up by thousands of Roman Collumns and was used to hold the water for the ancient city
This is probably one of my favorite site of Roman Ruins and it definitely is my favorite site in Istanbul
This is probably one of my favorite site of Roman Ruins and it definitely is my favorite site in Istanbul
The Basilica Cistern is a hauntingly beautiful spot and don't miss the two upside down Medusa heads at the back
The Basilica Cistern is a hauntingly beautiful spot and don’t miss the two upside down Medusa heads at the back
Don't forget to have a ridiculously strong Turkish coffee and definitely try to get a view of the Bosphorus to go along with it!
Don’t forget to have a ridiculously strong Turkish coffee and definitely try to get a view of the Bosphorus to go along with it!
Streets of Sultanahmet, the old neighborhood of Istanbul, it is a lovely neighborhood and there is great food here as well
Streets of Sultanahmet, the old neighborhood of Istanbul, it is a lovely neighborhood and there is great food here as well
View of Taksim which is the nightlife heart of Istanbul
View of Taksim which is the nightlife heart of Istanbul
The Inside of the Blue Mosque, I could have spent another hour in here.  It was so incredibly peaceful and the artistry of the tile work was stunning
The Inside of the Blue Mosque, I could have spent another hour in here. It was so incredibly peaceful and the artistry of the tile work was stunning
Mosque on the Asia side of Istanbul, its a little quieter on the Asia side of the Bosphorus but it is sometimes nice to get away from the center of the city
Mosque on the Asia side of Istanbul, its a little quieter on the Asia side of the Bosphorus but it is sometimes nice to get away from the center of the city
The Hagia Sophia was once the most revered Christian Church in the East when the Turks conquered the city however, they took control of the church and turned it into a mosque
The Hagia Sophia was once the most revered Christian Church in the East when the Turks conquered the city however, they took control of the church and turned it into a mosque
View of the inside of the Hagia Sophia, you can see the mix of Christianity and Islam with the decorations and the remaining mosaics
View of the inside of the Hagia Sophia, you can see the mix of Christianity and Islam with the decorations and the remaining mosaics
Domes of Suleymaniye Mosque, it is the largest mosque in the city and was built in part to surpass the Hagia Sophia
Domes of Suleymaniye Mosque, it is the largest mosque in the city and was built in part to surpass the Hagia Sophia
A Man at Prayer
A Man at Prayer

Istanbul is a city that I will never forget, I had an amazing time there.  Between the Mosques and the Basilica Cistern, I felt at peace in the city which was at times could be so bustling it verged on chaotic.  It was a magnifient city filled with so much history, culture, great food and most of the people were overwhelmingly friendly.  As I said I would recommend Istanbul as a city for everyone to visit and I cannot wait to plan my return trip and see more of Turkey itself!

 

Check out some of our other awesome posts:

My Favorite Underground Site in Europe I love the Basilica Cistern!
My Favorite Underground Site in Europe
I love the Basilica Cistern!
Intro to Thessaloniki White Washed Houses and Oranges
Intro to Thessaloniki
White Washed Houses and Oranges

 

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